One of the primary reasons the NFL and its broadcasting partners have resisted making an online live stream available for the biggest game of the year is viewer cannibalization. However, with big events like the Olympics and March Madness having tested the live stream waters successfully, the NFL and NBC are ready to kick the Super Bowl to the web.
Canadians will be left out of the online party this time, but it won’t be long before that changes. Americans will be able to view two different streams, one with the much-hyped TV ads, and a different stream with ads targeted for the live stream only. While International viewers will be blocked, nobody in US will require a cable account to access the live stream on the web, while Verizon customers will also be granted access on their iOS or Android mobile device.
Of course the one thing everybody will want to know, is how many people will actually watch the game online vs. watching it on that massive flat-panel television you got for the holidays? Time will tell, but I would be surprised if this offering didn’t serve to both expand the audience and provide a pot-pourri of insightful analytics.