New Details About Super Bowl I Tapes Revealed

The frustrating and bizarre saga of the Super Bowl I tapes continues. The man who owns a pair of 2-inch quadruplex videotapes containing the only known recording of the famous game has finally come forward. The New York Times today published an article by Richard Sandomir that reveals more details about the tapes including the identity of the owner. His name is Troy Haupt and his father Martin recorded most of the CBS broadcast of Super Bowl I back in January 1967. It wasn’t until 2005 that a friend of Haupt’s suggested the tapes might be very rare and potentially valuable.

I wrote about the recovery of these tapes several years ago. At that time, the identity of the owner of the tapes was unknown but we did know that he and the NFL had seemingly come to an impasse. The owner wanted more money than the NFL was willing to pay for the tapes. Confusingly, Haupt “owns” the physical tapes but the NFL holds the copyright to the content. The NFL has threatened to pursue legal action if Haupt attempts to sell the tapes to anyone else.

Although The Paley Center for Media has a digitized, restored copy of the broadcast, it can’t do anything with it. According to a February 2015 CNN Money article, the Paley Center believes it needs both Haupt’s permission and the NFL’s permission just to allow anybody to watch the footage.

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8 Replies to “New Details About Super Bowl I Tapes Revealed”

  1. I don’t understand the NFL’s attitude. With all their money, why are they low-balling this guy? It shows you how little value they place on their own history. The sensible thing to do would be for both parties to agree to binding arbitration. Until then, we fans are deprived of seeing this important document.

    1. I agree with Jim. I have no idea how much money Troy Haupt is asking for, but I can’t imagine it is more than the NFL could easily afford to pay.

      1. It’s not about not being able to afford to, but it’s likely the guy is asking far more than what they’re worth. It sounds like the guy thinks he’s won the lottery. They’re not even the complete tapes, they’re missing part of the game. The NFL is less interested in them now after the 50th game has already aired. There was a search for them before that. But they’re just an archive. How much would you pay for a movie you’re just going to leave sitting on the shelf?

    2. I suspect the guy is asking for an unreasonable amount. He could be asking for tens of millions or even one hundred million. The tapes are hardly likely to be worth more than a few thousand at most. And there’s always the chance that another copy will appear. I could see the NFL willing to pay a million just to settle things. I doubt however they would pay ten million.

      I can understand why the NFL wouldn’t want to pay too much for the tapes. It’s unlikely they can make that much back on them.

      It’s good to know that the Paley Center has a copy so that there’s little danger of it becoming lost again.

  2. I’m not sure how much commercial value there is in the old game. Recently, the NFL NETWORK cablecast an abbreviated version of the ‘AFL-NFL World Championship Game’ stitched together from source tape assembled from old NFL Films footage and cablecast under the title, ‘SBI: The Lost Game’. Over two primetime evenings, the reprised game garnered small ratings:

    Fri.Jan.15th (original) 558,000 P2+ 0.2 A18-49
    Fri. Jan 22nd (encore) 179,000 P2+ 0.1 A18-49

    1. I DVRed the special. It had the NFL Films footage and the NBC radio call by the late Jim Simpson (who died a couple days before at age 88) along with a box that resembled the old “Fox Box” of 1994 and trivia and commentary on the right side of the screen. The only videotape that was shown was part of the player introductions by Ray Scott.

  3. I can’t help but wonder where the NFL has found additional footage of the broadcast of Super Bowl I on its own.

    Consider that for the longest time, all that was publicly known to exist of either NBC’s or CBS’ coverage of the game were a few snippets of highlights.

    Then the NFL Network announces it will air a reconstructed broadcast of the First AFL-NFL Championship Game. In promos for this, videotape of the first touchdown in the game’s history is shown (no surprise there) as well as the opening kickoff, which I had never seen before.

    Interestingly, when those plays and the other 143 of Super Bowl I are shown during the actual program, only NFL Films’ coverage is provided.

    Still the “rebroadcast” did contain some videotape from the CBS telecast, such as the player introductions and the postgame interview Pat Summerall did with Commissioner Pete Rozelle. And then on the Super Bowl 50 pregame show, CBS showed footage of Ray Scott and Jack Whitaker talking prior to the start of Super Bowl I about the matchup between the Chiefs and Packers. To the best of my knowledge, none of this footage had been publicly shown again until this year. Can anyone else here remember seeing it since the game first aired in 1967?

    Granted this isn’t game footage, but if all this pregame and postgame material has been unearthed, it seems reasonable to presume more game action itself has been found, such as the opening kickoff.

    I read sometime ago that prior to the discovery of the Paley tape another copy of the game was reportedly found but had deteriorated so badly it was unplayable. Could it be the NFL has found a way to salvage some of this material, or found another copy with at least some parts of the CBS telecast intact?

  4. Prior to the tape turning up, it was widely reported that if anyone ever found a copy of the game, it would be worth a million dollars. Then, once this guy did turn the copy up, the NFL offered him $30K. So, the value dropped $970,000 from when it didn’t exist to when it did? I don’t blame him for telling the NFL to drop dead. If I was him, I would burn the tape before I would give it to them. They have billions and they have to low ball the guy. Screw them.

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