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Lost and found: Super Bowl I footage

The Packers' Elijah Pitts goes over right tackle

The Packers' Elijah Pitts goes over right tackle to the Chiefs' five-yard line, a six-yard gain, before being brought down by Kansas City's Johnny Robinson in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl game in Los Angeles Jan. 15, 1967. Credit: AP

For many years the Paley Center for Media listed Super Bowl I among the most sought-after "missing" events in television history, despite its historical magnitude and the fact it was shown live on not one but two networks.

Then, in 2005, the son of an engineer from a station in Scranton, Pennsylvania, showed up bearing a two-inch videotape that included most of the CBS telecast, minus a chunk of the third quarter of the Packers' 35-10 victory over the Chiefs on Jan. 15, 1967.

The man wanted the Paley Center to restore the tape, which it did, but the game has yet to be seen publicly, in part because of wrangling over copyright and compensation between the owner and NFL. (A snippet was shown at a Paley Center gala in May celebrating ESPN's 35th anniversary.)

"It's something we always hoped we could discover in some kind of archive," said Ron Simon, the Center's curator of television and radio. "It was exciting and it's still exciting."

CBS' coverage, featuring Ray Scott, Jack Whitaker and Frank Gifford, illustrates how far televised football has come over the past nearly half century.

The commentary was limited, as were replays. The telecast includes numerous fascinating nuggets, including an interview with winning coach Vince Lombardi.

"The craft of broadcasting games has certainly evolved over the years," Simon said. "This is the beginning stages."

Simon said there have been times when it appeared the game might reach a wider audience, perhaps on the NFL Network, including in advance of the most recent Super Bowl.

"We are looking for the best time to show it and making sure all sides are comfortable with it," Simon said. "We are getting there. We want it to happen."

New York Sports