It’s Game On for Second Screen

While CBS secures separate ad deals for Super Bowl live stream, NFL and Verizon intercepts with big smartphone play

There’s not a lot of common ground between digital media and television, but huge live events—especially the Super Bowl—are just as important for both media because they guarantee vast numbers of live viewers. So while it’s no surprise CBS is pulling out all the stops for its second-screen app tied to Super Bowl XLVII, anybody with even a toehold in those rights negotiations is milking the opportunity for all it’s worth.

For CBS alone, media buyers estimate the haul will be between $10 million–$12 million for the second screen all by itself—not much compared to the Bowl proper, but a huge bump up from the estimated $2 million that NBC made on its second-screen advertising last year.

“Because it’s such appointment TV, because people build their lives around the television [broadcast], it’s the best opportunity to build in a second-screen experience,” said Jason Kint, svp and gm of “We have other events like the Masters where digital is the first screen a lot of times. But [with the Super Bowl], it’s really about the second screen being a companion to the first screen.”

Accordingly, the ad load for the second-screen app—where users will be able to switch between four different camera angles, including an overhead camera the network is calling “All-22” that lets armchair quarterbacks see player formations—will be completely different from the famously pricey spots for the main event. “None of it was added value; all the second-screen ads were sold separately,” said Kint. “You’ll see a lot of the same advertisers and creative, but it’s a different schedule.”

Interestingly, the one venue CBS doesn’t have the right to broadcast is on the most ubiquitous second screen around: the smartphone. Those rights sit with the NFL, and while the sports league’s cable network has to stop broadcasting an hour before the game—during the match, the screen just has stats with no commentary or video—the NFL has joined forces with Verizon to stream the game to smartphones for a $5 pay-per-view fee.

Oddly, the only way the NFL Network isn’t monetizing the game is through advertising; a rep for the league tells Adweek that there are no plans to resell the ad spots—it’s just a straight stream of CBS’ content.

Of course, one of the reasons those spots are so pricey in the first place is that the ads are an event unto themselves. Both the NFL and CBS are hosting sites that will populate with ads as they run during the game.