An inside look at CBS’ social Super Bowl plans

By Alex Weprin 

CBS has the rights to this year’s Super Bowl broadcast, and the network is betting big on second-screen interaction for the game. Unlike some other social efforts, CBS isn’t concerned with trying to get people to tune in (more than 100 million live viewers is virtually guaranteed), but rather to create a value-added experience focused on interactive elements. At a Super Bowl press event at the CBS Broadcast Center in New York, I spoke to Jason Kint, the senior VP and GM of interactive for CBS, about some of the unique things CBS has on tap.

“We know that people are going to be in front of the television, it is appointment viewing,” Kint told me. “From the ground up we looked at it and asked ‘what would they want to do while watching TV?’”

Interactivity will be a big part of CBS’ plans. The network will post the commercials (almost as big a drew as the game itself) on immediately after they air, and encourage people to watch, comment on and share them as they continue to watch the game on TV.

In addition, CBS will be streaming a number of alternate camera views live during the game, so people can watch the action from new angles. One of the camera angles will be the “Fan Choice” camera.

“Users can decide where to point the camera, depending on how they vote,” Kint said. “You have got the video player, and it will have a list of players, or coaches or whatever else is interesting in the stadium at that time.”

Users can vote for where they want the camera to turn, and after a period of time the director will have the camera cut to whatever, or whomever, the fans want it to. There is also the “All 22” camera angle, which previously had only been available to coaches.

“It is something they never wanted out there, because coaches get to see everything,” Kint said.

Ultimately, CBS is hoping to tap into the conversations that will naturally be flowing on the social networks during the game. Given that it has the rights to all the content, the network is making sure to leverage that advantage.

“With or without whatever we do, Twitter and Facebook will be all about the Super Bowl,” Kint said. “Twitter, Facebook and our video player is where the second screen experiences are happening.”