Will Online Streaming Make The 2012 Super Bowl The Most-Watched In History?

By Megan O'Neill 

The big news of the hour for sports fans (and web video fans) is that on Super Bowl Sunday 2012 viewers will be able to watch the big game not only on TV, but from their computers and mobile devices as well.  That’s right—Super Bowl XLVI will be the first Super Bowl to be streamed online!

The Associated Press reports that “NBC’s broadcasts of wild card Saturday, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl will be available on the league’s and network’s websites and through Verizon’s NFL Mobile app.”  The streaming service is going to include not only additional camera angles, but also in-game highlights, live stats and, of course, the Super Bowl commercials (the attraction that brings even non-sports fans to the Super Bowl).

It should be noted that the live streaming of sporting events isn’t something new for NBC, who, ESPN reports, “has been streaming its ‘Sunday Night Football’ telecasts for four seasons.”  However, this is the first time that an event as large as the Super Bowl is being live streamed.  NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ streams usually see anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 viewers, so how many can we expect for the Super Bowl?  Joshua Cohen of Tubefilter crunched the numbers and says, “If we assume the TV to online viewership ratio stays constant on Super Bowl Sunday, expect between 1.057 million and 1.585 million people to watch the live stream on their computers, smartphones and tablets.”

With the game being streamed I think we’ll be seeing one of the biggest viewer turnouts that the Super Bowl has ever seen.  Viewers without televisions that have not been able to watch the game in the past will be able to watch on their computers, and mobile devices.  However, NBC expects that a large number of streaming views won’t come from viewers that aren’t watching on TV, but rather will come from those using the service as a compliment to watching the game on their television sets.

Hans Schroeder, the NFL’s senior VP of media strategy and development, says, “Whether it’s just for a quarter if somebody has to run out to the store to get something they forgot, now they can stay connected to the game.  With such a big television audience, it will be interesting to see the expanded reach.”

How will you be watching Super Bowl XLVI?

Image credit: Diego Cervo via Shutterstock

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.