Kickoff: 6:30 p.m.
Radio: WFAN (Kevin Harlan, play-by-play; Boomer Esiason, analyst; Mark Malone and James Lofton, sidelines)
Line: 49ers by 3.5; over/under: 47.5
America the Beautiful: Jennifer Hudson, with the Sandy Hook Elementary School chorus
National anthem: Alicia Keys
CBS cameras: 62
Beyonce wows 'em in New Orleans
The halftime show news conference always is one of the biggest - and strangest - of Super Bowl week, as fawning entertainment writers and grouchy sportswriters vie to ask pertinent questions of famous musicians.
But Thursday's Beyonce presser was an all-timer, from the moment she began by belting out the national anthem in a clever in-your-face to critics of her Inauguration Day lip-sync.
She revealed almost nothing about her game-day plans, per Super Bowl custom, but her performance is the most-anticipated in years, in part because millions of viewers under 40 actually know of her work.
In the other eight Super Bowls since Janet Jackson's 2004 "wardrobe malfunction" (also on CBS), seven of the lead performers (or lead singers) were born before there was an AFL, and when there were only 48 United States:
2005: Paul McCartney (born June 18, 1942)
2006: The Rolling Stones (Mick Jagger, July 26, 1943)
2007: Prince (June 7, 1958)
2008: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (Oct. 20, 1950)
2009: Bruce Springsteen (Sept. 23, 1949)
2010: The Who (Roger Daltrey, March 1, 1944)
2011: Black-Eyed Peas (Fergie, March 27, 1975)
2012: Madonna (Aug. 16, 1958)
2013: Beyonce (Sept. 4, 1981)
How many eyeballs will CBS attract? (end subhead)
The past three Super Bowls have set records for largest average viewership in the history of American television, topped by last year's 111.3 million for the Giants' victory over the Patriots.
Many in the sports TV industry believe this year's game finally will take a step back - as did viewership for both conference championship games compared to last - but there is no doubting the league's ongoing ratings dominance overall.
According to the NFL, between Sept. 1, 2010, and Jan. 27, 2013, 43 shows on American television averaged at least 30 million viewers. The breakdown:
NFL games: 30
London Summer Olympics: 9
Academy Awards: 2
"The Voice" (post-Super Bowl edition): 1
Super Bowl pregame never ends
For decades people have joked about ever-lengthening Super Bowl pregame shows, and indeed, they are as silly as ever, including an 8 ½ -hour offering from the NFL Network that begins at 9 a.m. - AFTER a two-hour "First on the Field.''
But truth be told, the pregame show now lasts an entire week, what with NFLN, ESPN and CBS Sports Network having provided many hours of coverage from sets in New Orleans adorned with former jocks and scenic backdrops.
For day-of-the-game traditionalists, though, here are some highlights of programming plans Sunday, Harbaugh-related and otherwise.
ESPN (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.):
Rick Reilly on 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith; Doug Williams, 25 years after he won the Super Bowl (narrated by Robert Griffin III!); Ron Jaworski interviews Joe Flacco; Ravens receiver Torrey Smith; "Frank Caliendo's Big Easy Adventure,'' "Gruden's Grinders.'' And, finally, and appropriately, "C'Mon Man!''
CBS (2 to 6 p.m.): Harbaugh Brothers; O.J. Brigance, a Raven when they beat the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV now battling Lou Gehrig's Disease; Colts coach Chuck Pagano; Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo.; NFL player safety; Ray Lewis; Joe Flacco; Ray Rice; Colin Kaepernick; Vernon Davis; Patrick Willis; Aldon and Justin Smith, and, inevitably, Scott Pelley will interview President Barack Obama live in the White House at 4:30 p.m.
NFL Network (9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.): OK, we'll spare you the details on this one. But this is worth noting: Three-time NFL MVP Brett Favre will dip his toe into the NFL analysis waters when he joins the network's team at the site of his victory for the Packers in Super Bowl XXXI, not too far from his home in Mississippi.
How do you say Kaepernick in Hungarian?
Subscribers to Sirius XM Satellite Radio can hear 12 versions of the big game in nine languages, only one of which will include Kevin Harlan yelling at them. Here is the breakdown:
· Ravens broadcast - Sirius 92 / XM 225 / Online 802
· 49ers broadcast - Sirius 86 / XM 226 / Online 827
· National radio - Sirius 88 / XM 88 / Online 88
· Spanish - Sirius 148 / XM 228 / Online 551 & 971
· BBC Radio - Sirius 91 / XM 229 / Online 960
· Hungarian - Sirius 94 / XM 230 / Online 961
· Chinese - Sirius 128 / XM 231 / Online 962
· German - Sirius 123 / XM 232 / Online 963
· Dutch - Sirius 134 / XM 233 / Online 964
· Portuguese - Sirius 135 / XM 234 / Online 965
· Japanese - Sirius 136 / XM 235 / Online 966
· French - Sirius 93 / XM 236 / Online 967
Harbaugh shots? Count on it!
Nothing says Super Bowl Sunday quite like wacky prop bets. Here are some of this year's TV- and entertainment-related ones, courtesy as always of Bovada:
How long will Alicia Keys' national anthem take? Over/under: 2 minutes, 10 seconds
What will be the predominant color of Beyonce's top to start the halftime show? Black 9/4; gold (yellow) 5/2; silver (grey) 4/1; white 5/1; red 13/2; pink 15/2; orange 12/1; blue 15/1; green 15/1
How many times will Jack Harbaugh be shown on TV during the game? Over 2.5, 5/7; under 2.5, 1/1
Who will be shown first during the game? Jim Harbaugh, 1/1; John Harbaugh, 1/1; split screen showing both, 4/1
How long will the postgame handshake/hug last between Jim and John Harbaugh? Over/under: 7.0 seconds
How many times will the name "Harbaugh" be said? Over/under: 21.5
How many times will Jay-Z be shown on TV during the game? Over/under 0.5
What will the TV rating be? Over/under: 46
How many viewers will the game average? Over/under 111 million
Simms back in analyst chair
This will be Super Bowl XXI MVP Phil Simms' seventh Super Bowl as a television analyst, second only to John Madden's 11.
"I can't believe I've done seven,'' he said. "Of course I'm proud of it. I always say sooner or later I'm going to come out of one of them and be happy. Every time you do a game it's almost like playing.
"It's, 'Man, oh, I should have done this, I should have done that.' Broadcasting is a lot like playing in those terms. You go to bed and all you think about is the things you wish you had done.''
Post-Super Bowl decision was elementary (end subhead)
One of the most important programming decisions Super Bowl networks must make is what entertainment show to put in the ultra-sweet spot immediately following the game.
CBS this year decided to showcase its series "Elementary." The twist this time is that the network will not give up on keeping sports fans under its umbrella by sending them to ESPN or the NFL Network for postgame coverage after the Lombardi Trophy is presented. For the first time, CBS Sports Network will offer an extensive post-podium show.
Here is a list of post-Super Bowl entertainment shows over the past decade:
2004 (CBS) "Survivor: All-Stars''
2005 (Fox) "The Simpsons"
2006 (ABC): "Grey's Anatomy''
2007 (CBS): "Criminal Minds''
2008 (Fox) "House''
2009 (NBC): "The Office"
2010 (CBS): "Undercover Boss''
2011 (Fox): "Glee"
2012 (NBC): "The Voice''
2013 (CBS): "Elementary''
CBS to re-mix Queen classic
Sometimes it's best to just quote Super Bowl news releases verbatim, allowing them to speak for their wacky selves, rather than trying to think of something clever to say about them.
For example, one from CBS about, well, this:
CBS Sports, home of Super Bowl XLVII, Queens and Helmut VonLichten have teamed to re-mix the iconic rock classic "We Will Rock You" with "The NFL on CBS" theme music to create a new anthem that will be featured in the opening main tease and throughout the network's game coverage of Super Bowl XLVII.
"I grew up playing air guitar to 'We Will Rock You' and pretending to throw the winning long-bomb pass on Super Bowl Sunday," VonLichten said. "Now I'm opening Super Bowl XLVII with Queen. Can life get any better?"