Super Bowl 50

Super Bowl 50
1234 Total
CAR 0703 10
DEN 10338 24
Date February 7, 2016 (February 7, 2016)
Stadium Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California
MVP Von Miller, Linebacker
Favorite Panthers by 5½[1]
Referee Clete Blakeman
Attendance 71,088[2]
National anthem Lady Gaga
Coin toss Joe Montana
Halftime show Coldplay feat. Beyoncé and Bruno Mars with Mark Ronson
TV in the United States
Network CBS
Announcers Jim Nantz (play-by-play)
Phil Simms (analyst)
Tracy Wolfson and Evan Washburn (sideline reporters)
Nielsen ratings 46.6 (national)
53.9 (Denver)
55.9 (Charlotte)
U.S. viewership: 111.9 million est. avg.,[3] 167.0 million est. total[4]
Market share 72 (national)
Cost of 30-second commercial $5 million

Super Bowl 50 was an American football game to determine the champion of the National Football League (NFL) for the 2015 season. The American Football Conference (AFC) champion Denver Broncos defeated the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Carolina Panthers 24–10 to earn their third Super Bowl title. The game was played on February 7, 2016, at Levi's Stadium in the San Francisco Bay Area at Santa Clara, California. As this was the 50th Super Bowl, the league emphasized the "golden anniversary" with various gold-themed initiatives, as well as suspending the tradition of naming each Super Bowl game with Roman numerals (under which the game would have been known as "Super Bowl L"), so the logo could prominently feature the Arabic numerals 50.[5][6]

The Panthers finished the regular season with a 15–1 record, racking up the league's top offense, and quarterback Cam Newton was named the NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP). They defeated the Arizona Cardinals 49–15 in the NFC Championship Game and advanced to their second Super Bowl appearance since the franchise was founded in 1995. The Broncos finished the regular season with a 12–4 record, thanks to having the league's top defense despite the struggles of starting quarterback Peyton Manning,[7] and defeated the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots 20–18 in the AFC Championship Game. They joined the Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, and Pittsburgh Steelers as one of four teams that have made eight appearances in the Super Bowl.

The Broncos took an early lead in Super Bowl 50 and never trailed. Newton was limited by Denver's defense, which registered seven sacks and forced him into three turnovers, including a fumble which the Broncos recovered for a touchdown.[8] Carolina's defense kept the game close by holding Denver's offense without a touchdown until late in the fourth quarter; defensive end Kony Ealy became the first player in Super Bowl history to have an interception and three sacks. Denver linebacker Von Miller was named Super Bowl MVP; Miller recorded five solo tackles, 2½ sacks, and two forced fumbles in the game.[9][10]

CBS's broadcast of the game was the third most-watched program in American television history with an average of 111.9 million viewers. The network charged an average of $5 million for a 30-second commercial during the game.[11][12] The Super Bowl 50 halftime show was headlined by the British rock group Coldplay[13] with special guest performers Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, who previously headlined the Super Bowl XLVII and Super Bowl XLVIII halftime shows, respectively.[14]


Host selection process

In early 2012, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated that the league planned to make the 50th Super Bowl "spectacular" and that it would be "an important game for us as a league".[15]

Cities included in early discussions or that submitted bids included:

The league eventually narrowed the bids to three sites: New Orleans' Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Miami's Sun Life Stadium, and the San Francisco Bay Area's Levi's Stadium.[19]

The league announced on October 16, 2012, that the two finalists were Sun Life Stadium[23] and Levi's Stadium.[24] The South Florida/Miami area has previously hosted the event 10 times (tied for most with New Orleans), with the most recent one being Super Bowl XLIV in 2010. The San Francisco Bay Area last hosted in 1985 (Super Bowl XIX), held at Stanford Stadium in Stanford, California, won by the home team 49ers. The Miami bid depended on whether the stadium underwent renovations. However, on May 3, 2013, the Florida legislature refused to approve the funding plan to pay for the renovations, dealing a significant blow to Miami's chances.[25]

On May 21, 2013, NFL owners at their spring meetings in Boston voted and awarded the game to Levi's Stadium.[26] The $1.2 billion stadium opened in 2014.[27] It is the first Super Bowl held in the San Francisco Bay Area since Super Bowl XIX in 1985, and the first in California since Super Bowl XXXVII took place in San Diego in 2003.[26]


For the third straight season, the number one seeds from both conferences met in the Super Bowl. The game also featured the league's top offense (Panthers) against the league's top defense (Broncos); two years ago for Super Bowl XLVIII the Broncos had the league's top offense against the league's top defense (Seahawks). The Carolina Panthers became one of only ten teams since 1960 to have completed a regular season with only one loss, and one of only six teams to have acquired a 15–1 record, while the Denver Broncos became one of four teams to have made eight appearances in the Super Bowl. The Broncos made their second Super Bowl appearance in three years, having reached Super Bowl XLVIII, while the Panthers made their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, their other appearance being Super Bowl XXXVIII. Coincidentally, both teams were coached by John Fox in their last Super Bowl appearance prior to Super Bowl 50.

Carolina Panthers

Despite waiving long-time running back DeAngelo Williams and losing top wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin to a torn ACL in the preseason, the Carolina Panthers had their best regular season in franchise history, becoming the seventh team to win at least 15 regular season games since the league expanded to a 16-game schedule in 1978. Carolina started the season 14–0, not only setting franchise records for the best start and the longest single-season winning streak, but also posting the best start to a season by an NFC team in NFL history, breaking the 13–0 record previously shared with the 2009 New Orleans Saints and the 2011 Green Bay Packers. With their NFC-best 15–1 regular season record, the Panthers clinched home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Ten players were selected to the Pro Bowl (the most in franchise history) along with eight All-Pro selections.

The Panthers offense, which led the NFL in scoring (500 points), was loaded with talent, boasting six Pro Bowl selections. Pro Bowl quarterback Cam Newton had one of his best seasons, throwing for 3,837 yards and rushing for 636, while recording a career-high and league-leading 45 total touchdowns (35 passing, 10 rushing), a career-low 10 interceptions, and a career-best quarterback rating of 99.4. Newton's leading receivers were tight end Greg Olsen, who caught a career-high 77 passes for 1,104 yards and seven touchdowns, and wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr., who caught 44 passes for 739 yards and 10 touchdowns; Ginn also rushed for 60 yards and returned 27 punts for 277 yards. Other key receivers included veteran Jerricho Cotchery (39 receptions for 485 yards), rookie Devin Funchess (31 receptions for 473 yards and five touchdowns), and second-year receiver Corey Brown (31 receptions for 447 yards). The Panthers backfield featured Pro Bowl running back Jonathan Stewart, who led the team with 989 rushing yards and six touchdowns in 13 games, along with Pro Bowl fullback Mike Tolbert, who rushed for 256 yards and caught 18 passes for another 154 yards. Carolina's offensive line also featured two Pro Bowl selections: center Ryan Kalil and guard Trai Turner.

The Panthers defense gave up just 308 points, ranking sixth in the league, while also leading the NFL in interceptions with 24 and boasting four Pro Bowl selections. Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kawann Short led the team in sacks with 11, while also forcing three fumbles and recovering two. Fellow lineman Mario Addison added 6½ sacks. The Panthers defensive line also featured veteran defensive end Jared Allen, a 5-time Pro Bowl selection, who was the NFL's active career sack leader with 136, along with defensive end Kony Ealy, who had five sacks in just nine starts. Behind them, two of the Panthers' three starting linebackers were also selected to play in the Pro Bowl: Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly. Davis compiled 5½ sacks, four forced fumbles, and four interceptions, while Kuechly led the team in tackles (118) forced two fumbles, and intercepted four passes of his own. Carolina's secondary featured Pro Bowl safety Kurt Coleman, who led the team with a career high seven interceptions, while also racking up 88 tackles and Pro Bowl cornerback Josh Norman, who developed into a shutdown corner during the season and had four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns.

Denver Broncos

After losing in the divisional round of the playoffs during three of the previous four seasons, the Denver Broncos' general manager John Elway made numerous coaching changes, including a mutual parting with head coach John Fox, who had won four divisional championships in his four years as Broncos head coach, being replaced in that role by Gary Kubiak, Elway's former backup quarterback and Broncos offensive coordinator. Wade Phillips, a former Broncos head coach, returned to the team to serve his second stint as defensive coordinator, succeeding Jack Del Rio who had left to take the head coaching vacancy at the Oakland Raiders. The team's 43–8 loss in Super Bowl XLVIII two years earlier resulted in signing defensive end DeMarcus Ware, cornerback Aqib Talib and safety T.J. Ward for the 2014 season.[28][29]

Under Kubiak, the Broncos planned to install a run-oriented offense with zone blocking to blend in with quarterback Peyton Manning's shotgun passing style, but struggled with numerous changes and injuries to the offensive line, as well as Manning having his worst statistical season since his rookie year with the Indianapolis Colts in 1998, due to a plantar fasciitis injury in his heel that he had suffered since the summer. In addition, Manning was getting old, as he turned 39 in the 2015 off-season.[30] Though the team had a 7–0 start, Manning led the NFL in interceptions. In Week 10, Manning suffered a partial tear of the plantar fasciitis in his left foot. He set the NFL's all-time record for career passing yards in this game, but after throwing four interceptions, he was benched in favor of backup quarterback Brock Osweiler, who took over as the starter for most of the remainder of the regular season. Osweiler was injured, however, leading to Manning's return during the Week 17 regular season finale, where the Broncos were losing 13–7 against the 4–11 San Diego Chargers, resulting in Manning re-claiming the starting quarterback position for the playoffs by leading the team to a key 27–20 win that enabled the team to clinch the AFC's No. 1 seed.[31] Under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who replaced his predecessor's complicated read-and-react scheme with a simple aggressive approach of attacking the ball,[29] the Broncos' defense ranked No.1 in total yards allowed, passing yards allowed and sacks, and like the previous three seasons, the team continued to set numerous individual, league and franchise records. With the defense carrying the team despite the issues with the offense,[7] the Broncos finished the regular season with a 12–4 record and earned home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

Manning finished the year with a career-low 67.9 passer rating, throwing for 2,249 yards and nine touchdowns, with 17 interceptions. In contrast, Osweiler threw for 1,967 yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions for a rating of 86.4. Veteran receiver Demaryius Thomas led the team with 105 receptions for 1,304 yards and six touchdowns, while Emmanuel Sanders caught 76 passes for 1,135 yards and six scores, while adding another 106 yards returning punts. Tight end Owen Daniels was also a big element of the passing game with 46 receptions for 517 yards. Running back C. J. Anderson was the team's leading rusher 863 yards and seven touchdowns, while also catching 25 passes for 183 yards. Running back Ronnie Hillman also made a big impact with 720 yards, five touchdowns, 24 receptions, and a 4.2 yards per carry average. Overall, the offense ranked 19th in scoring with 355 points and did not have any Pro Bowl selections.

The Broncos' defense ranked first in the NFL yards allowed (4,530) for the first time in franchise history, and fourth in points allowed (296). Defensive ends Derek Wolfe and Malik Jackson each had 5½ sacks. Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller led the team with 11 sacks, forced four fumbles, and recovered three. Linebacker DeMarcus Ware was selected to play in the Pro Bowl for the ninth time in his career, ranking second on the team with 7½ sacks. Linebacker Brandon Marshall led the team in total tackles with 109, while Danny Trevathan ranked second with 102. Cornerbacks Aqib Talib (three interceptions) and Chris Harris, Jr. (two interceptions) were the other two Pro Bowl selections from the defense, though none of the players selected for the Pro Bowl participated due to the Broncos reaching Super Bowl 50.


The Panthers beat the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round, running up a 31–0 halftime lead and then holding off a furious second half comeback attempt to win 31–24, avenging their elimination from a year earlier. The Panthers then blew out the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship Game, 49–15, racking up 487 yards and forcing seven turnovers.

The Broncos defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional round, 23–16, by scoring 11 points in the final three minutes of the game. They then defeated the defending Super Bowl XLIX champion New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, 20–18, by intercepting a pass on New England's 2-point conversion attempt with 17 seconds left on the clock.

Pre-game notes

Carolina suffered a major setback when Thomas Davis, an 11-year veteran who had already overcome three ACL tears in his career, went down with a broken arm in the NFC Championship Game. Despite this, he insisted he would still find a way to play in the Super Bowl.[32] His prediction turned out to be accurate.

Peyton Manning became the first quarterback ever to lead two different teams to multiple Super Bowls. He is also the oldest quarterback ever to play in a Super Bowl at age 39. The past record was held by John Elway, who led the Broncos to victory in Super Bowl XXXIII at age 38 and is currently Denver's Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager.[33]

This was the first Super Bowl to feature a quarterback on both teams who was the #1 pick in their draft classes. Manning was the #1 selection of the 1998 NFL draft, while Newton was picked first in 2011. The matchup also pits the top two picks of the 2011 draft against each other: Newton for Carolina and Von Miller for Denver.[34] Manning and Newton also set the record for the largest age difference between opposing Super Bowl quarterbacks at 13 years and 48 days (Manning was 39, Newton was 26).[35]

With Rivera having been a linebacker with the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX, and Kubiak replacing Elway at the end of the Broncos' defeats in Super Bowls XXI and XXIV, this was the first Super Bowl in which both head coaches played in the game themselves.

Concerns were raised over whether Levi's Stadium's field was of a high enough quality to host a Super Bowl; during the inaugural season, the field had to be re-sodded multiple times due to various issues, and during a week 6 game earlier in the 2015 season, a portion of the turf collapsed under Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker, causing him to slip and miss a field goal, although the field has not had any major issues since. As is customary for Super Bowl games played at natural grass stadiums, the NFL re-sodded the hybrid Bermuda 419 turf playing surface prior to the game; NFL and Atlanta Braves field director Ed Mangan stated that the field was in "great shape" for the game.[36][37][38] However, the turf showed problems throughout the game, with a number of players needing to change their cleats during the game and players slipping during plays all throughout the game.[39]

As the designated home team in the annual rotation between AFC and NFC teams, the Broncos elected to wear their road white jerseys with matching white pants.[40] Elway stated, "We've had Super Bowl success in our white uniforms."[40][41] The Broncos last wore matching white jerseys and pants in the Super Bowl in Super Bowl XXXIII, Elway's last game as Denver QB, when they defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34–19. In their only other Super Bowl win in Super Bowl XXXII, Denver wore blue jerseys, which was their primary color at the time. They also lost Super Bowl XXI when they wore white jerseys, but they are 0–4 in Super Bowls when wearing orange jerseys, losing in Super Bowl XII, XXII, XXIV, and XLVIII.[41] The only other AFC champion team to have worn white as the designated home team in the Super Bowl was the Pittsburgh Steelers; they defeated the Seattle Seahawks 21–10 in Super Bowl XL 10 seasons prior. The Broncos' decision to wear white meant the Panthers would wear their standard home uniform: black jerseys with silver pants.[41][42]

Team facilities

The Panthers used the San Jose State practice facility[43] and stayed at the San Jose Marriott. The Broncos practiced at Stanford University and stayed at the Santa Clara Marriott.[44]


On June 4, 2014, the NFL announced that the game would be branded with Arabic numerals as "Super Bowl 50"—rather than with Roman numerals (a practice established at Super Bowl V, under which the game would have been known as "Super Bowl L").[5][6] Jaime Weston, the league's vice president of brand and creative, explained that a primary reason for the change was the difficulty in designing an aesthetically pleasing logo with the letter "L" using the standardized logo template introduced at Super Bowl XLV.[5] The logo also deviates from the template by featuring large numerals, colored in gold, behind the Vince Lombardi Trophy, instead of underneath and in silver as in the standard logo.[5]

Tying into the game's "golden anniversary", various gold-themed promotions and initiatives were held throughout the 2015 NFL season; gold-tinted logos were implemented across the NFL's properties and painted on fields, the numbering of the 50-yard line on fields was colored gold, and beginning on week 7, all sideline jackets and hats featured gold-trimmed logos. Gold footballs were given to each high school that has had a player or coach appear in the Super Bowl, and "homecoming" events were also held by Super Bowl-winning teams at games.[45][46]

Super Bowl week events

The annual NFL Experience was held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.[47] In addition, "Super Bowl City" opened on January 30 at Justin Herman Plaza on The Embarcadero, featuring games and activities that will highlight the Bay Area's technology, culinary creations, and cultural diversity.[48] More than 1 million people are expected to attend the festivities in San Francisco during Super Bowl Week.[49] San Francisco mayor Ed Lee said of the highly visible homeless presence in this area "they are going to have to leave". San Francisco city supervisor Jane Kim unsuccessfully lobbied for the NFL to reimburse San Francisco for city services in the amount of $5 million.[50]

In addition, there are $2 million worth of other ancillary events, including a week-long event at the Santa Clara Convention Center, a beer, wine and food festival at Bellomy Field at Santa Clara University, and a pep rally. A professional fundraiser will aid in finding business sponsors and individual donors, but still may need the city council to help fund the event. Additional funding will be provided by the city council, which has announced plans to set aside seed funding for the event.[51]

The game's media day, which was typically held on the Tuesday afternoon prior to the game, was moved to the Monday evening and re-branded as Super Bowl Opening Night. The event was held on February 1, 2016 at SAP Center in San Jose. Alongside the traditional media availabilities, the event featured an opening ceremony with player introductions on a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge.[52][53]

For the first time, the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee and the NFL have openly sought disabled veteran and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender-owned businesses in Business Connect, the Super Bowl program that provides local companies with contracting opportunities in and around the Super Bowl.[54] The host committee has already raised over $40 million through sponsors including Apple, Google, Yahoo!, Intel, Gap, Chevron, and Dignity Health.[47][55]


The Super Bowl 50 Host Committee has vowed to be "the most giving Super Bowl ever",[56][57] and will dedicate 25 percent of all money it raises for philanthropic causes in the Bay Area.[58][59] The committee created the 50 fund as its philanthropic initiative and focuses on providing grants to aid with youth development, community investment and sustainable environments.[55][60]


In addition to the Vince Lombardi Trophy that all Super Bowl champions receive, the Broncos also received a large, 18-karat gold-plated "50". Each digit weighs 33 lb (15 kg) for a total of 66 lb (30 kg). Like the Lombardi Trophy, the "50" was designed by Tiffany & Co.[46]


U.S. television

In the United States, the game was televised by CBS, as part of a cycle between the three main broadcast television partners of the NFL.[61][62] The network's lead broadcast team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms called the contest, with Tracy Wolfson and Evan Washburn on the sidelines.[63] CBS introduced new features during the telecast, including pylon cameras and microphones along with EyeVision 360—an array of 36 cameras along the upper deck that can be used to provide a 360-degree view of plays and "bullet time" effects. (An earlier version of EyeVision was last used in Super Bowl XXXV;[64] for Super Bowl 50, the cameras were upgraded to 5K resolution.)[65]

On December 28, 2015, ESPN Deportes announced that they had reached an agreement with CBS and the NFL to provide a dedicated Spanish-language broadcast of the Super Bowl; unlike Fox and NBC, CBS does not have a Spanish-language cable network that could have carried such a broadcast. The production utilized CBS's video, but with Spanish-language graphics provided by ESPN, and its Monday Night Football commentary crew of Alvaro Martin, Raul Allegre, and sideline reporter John Sutcliffe.[66] ESPN Deportes broadcast pre-game and post-game coverage, while Martin, Allegre, and Sutcliffe also contributed English-language reports for ESPN's SportsCenter and Mike & Mike.[67][68][69][70] ESPN Deportes' vice president of programming Freddy Rolon felt that dedicated Spanish-language coverage appealed better to Hispanic viewers than Spanish commentary on the SAP audio channel (which was still carried by CBS over-the-air with a different announce team per league policy), going on to say that "I have family members who watch Spanish language television and they don't know where that SAP button is to begin with".[66]

CBS provided digital streams of the game via, and the CBS Sports apps on tablets, Windows 10, Xbox One and other digital media players (such as Chromecast and Roku). Due to Verizon Communications exclusivity, streaming on smartphones was only provided to Verizon Wireless customers via the NFL Mobile service.[71][72] The ESPN Deportes Spanish broadcast was made available through WatchESPN.[67]

As opposed to broadcasts of primetime series, CBS broadcast special episodes of its late night talk shows as its lead-out programs for Super Bowl 50, beginning with a special episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert following the game. Following a break for late local programming, CBS also aired a special episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden.[73]

With an average TV audience of 111.9 million, the game was the third most-watched Super Bowl—and third most-watched U.S. program—in history, according to the Nielsen ratings.[3][74][75][76] It was also the most-watched program of all-time in terms of total audience, 167-million, which measures those who viewed at least six minutes of the broadcast.[4][77][78] Average viewership is the industry standard for determining television ratings, while total audience is a supplemental metric.[79]


CBS set the base rate for a 30-second advertisement at $5,000,000, a record high price for a Super Bowl ad.[11][12] As of January 26, the advertisements had not yet sold out.[71] CBS mandated that all advertisers purchase a package covering time on both the television and digital broadcasts of the game, meaning that for the first time, digital streams of the game would carry all national advertising in pattern with the television broadcast.[71] This would be the final year in a multi-year contract with Anheuser-Busch InBev that allowed the beer manufacturer to air multiple advertisements during the game at a steep discount.[12] It was also the final year that Doritos, a longtime sponsor of the game, held its "Crash the Super Bowl" contest that allowed viewers to create their own Doritos ads for a chance to have it aired during the game.[80] Nintendo and The Pokémon Company also made their Super Bowl debut, Hyundai placed in both first and fifth place respectively on USA Today's Super Bowl Ad Meter survey, with their ads "First Date" (for the Hyundai Genesis) and "Ryanville" (for the 2017 Hyundai Elantra).[81]

First-time advertisers at Super Bowl 50 included, Colgate toothpaste, Death Wish Coffee (who beat 10 other small businesses in a contest held by Intuit, who paid for the ad time as a prize),[82][83] LG Electronics, Marmot, Nintendo (promoting the 20th anniversary of the Pokémon franchise), PayPal, and SoFi.[84][85]

20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios and Walt Disney Studios paid for movie trailers to be aired during the Super Bowl. Fox paid for Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse, Independence Day: Resurgence and Eddie the Eagle, Lionsgate paid for Gods of Egypt, Paramount paid for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and 10 Cloverfield Lane, Universal paid for The Secret Life of Pets and the debut trailer for Jason Bourne and Disney paid for Captain America: Civil War, The Jungle Book and Alice Through the Looking Glass.[86]

International broadcasters

Rights holder(s)
 Austria The event was aired live on Puls 4, Sat.1 and on live stream.[87] Commentary of Puls 4 and Sat.1, who are owned by the same company, is different, but both are German speaking.
 Australia The event aired live on the Seven Network and 7mate, alongside subscription channel ESPN[88]
 Brazil In Brazil the event aired live on Free-to-air television at Esporte Interativo and on paid television at ESPN Brasil at 9:00 PM.[89]
 Canada CTV continues to hold rights to the Super Bowl under a long-term contract.[90] CTV aired a new episode of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, "White Knights", as a lead-out program, prior to its premiere on The CW in the United States the following Thursday. CTV Go offered digital streaming of the game to authenticated pay television subscribers on participating providers.[91][92]
 Czech Republic The event aired live on paid television station, Sport 2.[93]
 Denmark In Denmark the event aired live on paid television station TV3+. The rights to the event is owned by Viasat until 2017.[94]
France and Switzerland (French speaking), aired the event live on W9[95]
Germany, Switzerland (German speaking) aired the event live on Sat.1 and on live stream.[96]
 Japan The event aired live on NHK BS1 and Nittele G+.
 Netherlands The event aired live on the pay television station Fox Sports 2.[97] and also broadcast live on national television by FOX HD.[98][99]
 New Zealand ESPN was broadcast live on Sky Channel 60 (CBS feed), TVNZ aired the event live on TV One, TVNZ Pop-Up (Freeview 13), and streamed it live on TVNZ OnDemand (international feed).
 Philippines The event aired live on TV5 and Hyper (Channel 53 (SD)/Channel 130 (HD) on Cignal) via live feed from All Sports Network at 7:00 am Philippine Standard Time, with same day rebroadcast at 7:00 pm only on Hyper. TV5 programming on that timeslot (7:00 am to 10:45 am) may be pre-empted due to the live telecast and will air the following day.
 Poland The event aired live on Eleven Sports (Channel 128 (HD) on NC+ ) via the international feed with local commentary at midnight local time.
 Romania The event aired live on Dolce Sport at 1:00 AM Eastern European Time, with same day rebroadcast at 6:30 PM.
 Thailand TrueVisions aired it live on True4U Channel 24 and Truesport HD at 6:00 AM Time in Thailand.
 United Kingdom
The event aired live in the UK and Ireland on BBC Two (International feed) and on Sky Sports 1 (CBS feed). The BBC secured a two-year deal to broadcast the Super Bowl as well as all three International Series games being held at Wembley Stadium in London, England, having previously lost the rights to public-service broadcaster Channel 4 in 2013.[100]


National coverage

Westwood One carried the game throughout North America, with Kevin Harlan as play-by-play announcer, Boomer Esiason and Dan Fouts as color analysts, and James Lofton and Mark Malone as sideline reporters. Jim Gray anchored the pre-game and halftime coverage.[101]

Local market coverage

The flagship stations of each station in the markets of each team carried their local play-by-play calls. In Denver, KOA (850 AM) and KRFX (103.5 FM) carried the game, with Dave Logan on play-by-play and Ed McCaffrey on color commentary. In North Carolina, WBT (1110 AM) carried the game, with Mick Mixon on play-by-play and Eugene Robinson and Jim Szoke on color commentary. WBT also simulcast the game on its sister station WBT-FM (99.3 FM), based in Chester, South Carolina. As KOA and WBT are both clear-channel stations, the local broadcasts were audible over much of the western United States after sunset (for Denver) and the eastern United States throughout the game (for Carolina). In accordance with contractual rules, the rest of the stations in the Broncos and Panthers radio networks either carried the Westwood One feed or did not air the game at all.

International broadcasts

In the United Kingdom, BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra carried the contest.[100] The BBC aired its own British English broadcast, with Greg Brady, Darren Fletcher and Rocky Boiman on commentary.



In honor of the 50th Super Bowl, the pregame ceremony featured the on-field introduction of 39 of the 43 previous Super Bowl Most Valuable Players. Bart Starr (MVP of Super Bowls I and II) and Chuck Howley (MVP of Super Bowl V) appeared via video.[102] The late Harvey Martin, co-MVP of Super Bowl XII who died in 2001, was acknowledged when the other co-MVP of Super Bowl XII, Randy White, was introduced. Peyton Manning (MVP of Super Bowl XLI and current Broncos quarterback) was shown in the locker room preparing for the game. This ceremony continued a ten-year tradition (starting with Super Bowl XX and then repeated in Super Bowl XXX and Super Bowl XL) in which past Super Bowl MVPs were honored before the game.

Lady Gaga sang the national anthem, while Marlee Matlin simultaneously performed an American Sign Language (ASL) version of it. Matlin also signed an a cappella version of "America the Beautiful", which was sung by a U.S. Armed Forces chorus.[103][104]

Halftime show

In late November 2015, reports surfaced stating that "multiple acts" would perform during the halftime show. On December 3, the league confirmed that the show would be headlined by the British rock group Coldplay.[105] On January 7, 2016, Pepsi confirmed to the Associated Press that Beyoncé, who headlined the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show and collaborated with Coldplay on the single "Hymn for the Weekend", would be making an appearance.[106] Bruno Mars, who headlined the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show, and Mark Ronson also performed.[107]

Game summary

First half

Denver took the opening kickoff and started out strong. Peyton Manning completed an 18-yard pass to tight end Owen Daniels and a 22-yard throw to receiver Andre Caldwell. A pair of carries by C. J. Anderson moved the ball up 20 yards to the Panthers 14-yard line, but Carolina's defense dug in over the next three plays. First, linebacker Shaq Thompson tackled Ronnie Hillman for a 3-yard loss. Then after an incompletion, Thomas Davis tackled Anderson for a 1-yard gain on third down, forcing Denver to settle for a 3–0 lead on a Brandon McManus 34-yard field goal. The score marked the first time in the entire postseason that Carolina was facing a deficit.

The Panthers on offense during Super Bowl 50

After each team punted, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton appeared to complete a 24-yard pass to Jerricho Cotchery, but the call was ruled an incompletion and upheld after a replay challenge. CBS analyst and retired referee Mike Carey stated he disagreed with the call and felt the review clearly showed the pass was complete.[108] A few plays later, on 3rd-and-10 from the 15-yard line, linebacker Von Miller knocked the ball out of Newton's hands while sacking him, and Malik Jackson recovered it in the end zone for a Broncos touchdown, giving the team a 10–0 lead. This was the first fumble return touchdown in a Super Bowl since Super Bowl XXVIII at the end of the 1993 season.[109]

After a punt from both teams, Carolina got on track with a 9-play, 73-yard scoring drive. Newton completed all four of his pass attempts for 51 yards and rushed twice for 25 yards, while Jonathan Stewart finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, cutting the score to 10–7 with 11:28 left in the second quarter. Later on, Broncos receiver Jordan Norwood received Brad Nortman's short 28-yard punt surrounded by Panthers players, but none of them attempted to make a tackle, apparently thinking Norwood had called a fair catch.[110] Norwood had not done so, and with no resistance around him, he took off for a Super Bowl record 61-yard return before Mario Addison dragged him down on the Panthers 14-yard line. Despite Denver's excellent field position, they could not get the ball into the end zone, so McManus kicked a 33-yard field goal that increased their lead to 13–7.

On Carolina's next possession, fullback Mike Tolbert lost a fumble while being tackled by safety Darian Stewart, which linebacker Danny Trevathan recovered on the Broncos 40-yard line. However, the Panthers soon took the ball back when defensive end Kony Ealy tipped a Manning pass to himself and then intercepted it, returning the ball 19 yards to the Panthers 39-yard line with 1:55 left on the clock. The Panthers could not gain any yards with their possession and had to punt. After a Denver punt, Carolina drove to the Broncos 45-yard line. But with 11 seconds left, Newton was sacked by DeMarcus Ware as time expired in the half.

Second half

The Panthers seemed primed to score on their opening drive of the second half when Newton completed a 45-yard pass to Ted Ginn Jr. on the Denver 35-yard line on their second offensive play. But the Broncos defense halted the drive on the 26-yard line, and it ended with no points when Graham Gano hit the uprights on a 44-yard field goal attempt. After the miss, Manning completed a pair of passes to Emmanuel Sanders for gains of 25 and 22 yards, setting up McManus' 33-yard field goal that gave the Broncos a 16–7 lead. Carolina got off to another strong start after the kickoff, with Newton completing a 42-yard pass to Corey Brown. But once again they came up empty, this time as a result of a Newton pass that bounced off the hands of Ginn and was intercepted by safety T. J. Ward. Ward fumbled the ball deep in Denver territory during the return, but Trevathan was able to recover the ball enabling Denver to keep possession.

The last punt of Super Bowl 50

There would be no more scoring in the third quarter, but early in the fourth, the Broncos drove to the Panthers 41-yard line. On the next play, Ealy knocked the ball out of Manning's hand as he was winding up for a pass, and then recovered it for Carolina on the 50-yard line. A 16-yard reception by Devin Funchess and a 12-yard run by Stewart then set up Gano's 39-yard field goal, cutting the Panthers deficit to one score at 16–10. The next three drives of the game would end in punts.

With 4:51 left in regulation, Carolina got the ball on their own 24-yard line with a chance to mount a game-winning drive, and soon faced 3rd-and-9. On the next play, Miller stripped the ball away from Newton, and after several players dove for it, it took a long bounce backwards and was recovered by Ward, who returned it five yards to the Panthers 4-yard line. Although several players dove into the pile to attempt to recover it, Newton did not and his lack of aggression later earned him heavy criticism.[111] Meanwhile, Denver's offense was kept out of the end zone for three plays, but a holding penalty on cornerback Josh Norman gave the Broncos a new set of downs. Then Anderson scored on a 2-yard touchdown run and Manning completed a pass to Bennie Fowler for a 2-point conversion, giving Denver a 24–10 lead with 3:08 left and essentially putting the game away. Carolina had two more drives before the game ended.[112]

Game statistics

Manning finished the game 13 of 23 for 141 yards with one interception.[113] Sanders was his top receiver with six receptions for 83 yards. Anderson was the game's leading rusher with 90 yards and a touchdown, along with four receptions for 10 yards. Miller had six total tackles (five solo), 2½ sacks, and two forced fumbles. Ware had five total tackles and two sacks. Ward had seven total tackles, a fumble recovery, and an interception. McManus made all four of his field goals, making him perfect on all 11 attempts during the post-season. Newton completed 18 of 41 passes for 265 yards, with one interception. He was also the team's leading rusher with 45 yards on six carries. Brown caught four passes for 80 yards, while Ginn had four receptions for 74 yards. Ealy was the top defensive performer for Carolina with four total tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and an interception. Defensive end Charles Johnson had four total tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. Linebacker Luke Kuechly had 11 total tackles, while Thomas Davis had seven, despite playing just two weeks after breaking his right arm in the NFC title game.

Super Bowl 50 featured numerous records from individuals and teams. Denver won despite being massively outgained in total yards (315 to 194) and first downs (21 to 11). Their 194 yards and 11 first downs were both the lowest totals ever by a Super Bowl winning team, as the previous record was 244 yards by the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV. Only seven other teams had ever gained less than 200 yards in a Super Bowl, and all of them had lost.[114] The Broncos' seven sacks tied a Super Bowl record set by the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX.[115] Manning was sacked five times by the Panthers, giving this game highest total (12) of combined sacks in Super Bowl history. Kony Ealy tied a Super Bowl record with three sacks. Jordan Norwood's 61-yard punt return set a new record, surpassing the old record of 45 yards set by John Taylor in Super Bowl XXIII.[116] Denver was just 1-of-14 on third down, while Carolina was barely better at 3-of-15. The two teams' combined third down conversion percentage of 13.8 was a Super Bowl low. Manning and Newton had quarterback passer ratings of 56.6 and 55.4, respectively, and their added total of 112 is a record lowest aggregate passer rating for a Super Bowl.[113] Manning became the oldest quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl at age 39,[117] the first quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl with two different teams,[118][119] and the first quarterback ever to win 200 games (regular season and postseason) as a starter.[120] Gary Kubiak became the first head coach to win a Super Bowl with the same franchise he went to the Super Bowl with as a player.

Box score

Super Bowl 50: Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos
1 2 34Total
Panthers 0 7 0310
Broncos 10 3 3824

at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California

Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Plays Yards TOP CAR DEN
1 10:43 10 64 4:17 DEN 34-yard field goal by McManus 0 3
1 6:27 DEN Fumble recovery returned 0 yards for touchdown by Jackson, McManus kick good 0 10
2 11:25 9 73 4:50 CAR Stewart 1-yard touchdown run, Gano kick good 7 10
2 6:58 4 –1 2:13 DEN 33-yard field goal by McManus 7 13
3 8:18 7 54 2:30 DEN 30-yard field goal by McManus 7 16
4 10:21 6 29 2:56 CAR 39-yard field goal by Gano 10 16
4 3:08 3 4 0:56 DEN Anderson 2-yard touchdown run, 2-point pass good (ManningFowler pass) 10 24
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 10 24

Statistical comparison

Statistic Carolina Panthers Denver Broncos
First downs2111
First downs rushing84
First downs passing105
First downs penalty32
Third down efficiency3/151/14
Fourth down efficiency0/00/0
Total net yards315194
Net yards rushing11890
Rushing attempts2728
Yards per rush4.43.2
Net yards passing197104
Passing – completions/attempts18/4113/23
Times sacked-total yards7–685–37
Interceptions thrown11
Punt returns-total yards3–21–61
Kickoff returns-total yards2–422–42
Interceptions-total return yards1–191–(–3)
Punts-average yardage7–45.08–45.9
Time of possession32:4727:13

Individual statistics

Panthers passing
Cam Newton 18/41 265 0 1
Panthers rushing
Car2 Yds TD LG3
Cam Newton 6 45 0 14
Jonathan Stewart 12 29 1 12
Fozzy Whittaker 4 26 0 15
Mike Tolbert 5 18 0 11
Panthers receiving
Rec4 Yds TD LG3
Corey Brown 4 80 0 42
Ted Ginn, Jr. 4 74 0 45
Greg Olsen 4 41 0 19
Devin Funchess 2 40 0 24
Jerricho Cotchery 2 17 0 11
Fozzy Whittaker 1 14 0 8
Jonathan Stewart 1 –1 0 –1
Broncos passing
Peyton Manning 13/23 141 0 1
Broncos rushing
Car2 Yds TD LG3
C. J. Anderson 23 90 1 34
Ronnie Hillman 5 0 0 3
Broncos receiving
Rec4 Yds TD LG3
Emmanuel Sanders 6 83 0 25
C. J. Anderson 4 10 0 7
Andre Caldwell 1 22 0 22
Owen Daniels 1 18 0 18
Demaryius Thomas 1 8 0 8

3Long gain

Starting lineups

Carolina Position Denver
Daryl Williams OL WR Demaryius Thomas
Michael Oher LT Ryan Harris
Andrew Norwell LG Evan Mathis
Ryan Kalil C Matt Paradis
Trai Turner RG Louis Vasquez
Mike Remmers RT Michael Schofield
Greg Olsen TE Owen Daniels
Devin Funchess WR Emmanuel Sanders
Cam Newton QB Peyton Manning
Jonathan Stewart RB C. J. Anderson
Ed Dickson TE Vernon Davis
Charles Johnson LDE DE Derek Wolfe
Star Lotulelei LDT NT Sylvester Williams
Kawann Short RDT DE Malik Jackson
Jared Allen RDE SLB Von Miller
Shaq Thompson SLB WLB DeMarcus Ware
Luke Kuechly MLB ILB Brandon Marshall
Thomas Davis WLB ILB Danny Trevathan
Robert McClain LCB Aqib Talib
Josh Norman RCB Chris Harris, Jr.
Roman Harper SS T. J. Ward
Kurt Coleman FS Darian Stewart


Super Bowl 50 had nine officials.[121] The numbers in parentheses below indicate their uniform numbers.


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