Super Bowl to Stream Live on Web and Mobile
The National Football League (NFL) has signed a deal that allows US viewers to watch the Super Bowl live on the Internet and smartphones, as well as on TV. It's considered the biggest test yet of the potential for audiences beyond traditional television sets.
Under the deal, the game will be broadcast on NBC television as scheduled, but will also stream live on the NFL's own website, as well as on NBCSports.com. The service will be restricted to viewers in the United States. It will work in the same way as an existing arrangement by which NBC shows regular-season games online.
The new agreement covers not just the Super Bowl itself, but also the Pro Bowl (the NFL's All-Star game) and the wild card matches (in which teams that didn't win their respective divisions get an added chance to play in the Super Bowl).
The deal, however, does not include the other playoff games, which are broadcast on rival TV networks. (Source: msnbc.com)
NFL Multi-Screen Viewing Made Possible
The idea isn't necessarily to get people watching online instead of on television sets. Instead, the webcast offers access to additional camera angles, plus instant access to statistics and other interactive tools controlled by the viewer, such as replays. It's designed to appeal to hardcore fans who will be running a laptop while sitting in front of their TV.
During the regular season, the online service attracts about one per cent of the audience that watches on television. It may be difficult to maintain that percentage for the Super Bowl, which traditionally attracts a larger but more casual audience.
No Live Coverage of High-Profile Advertisements
The online broadcast will carry different commercials, though users will be able to access the network TV ads after the game via an on-demand service. The huge audience drawn to the Super Bowl means advertisers traditionally use it to debut eye-catching and creative ads.
In a separate deal, the same games will be available on smartphones, though only to Verizon subscribers, through a dedicated NFL Mobile App that is available for Android and Apple handsets.
The app currently carries a $10 a month subscription charge on ordinary 3G handsets. Customers who use Verizon's high-speed 4G/LTE service can get the app free of charge. (Source: wsj.com)