NBCU Will Use Super Bowl XLIX Free Live-Stream to Promote Pay-TV Online Services

Tom Brady
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Peacock's 11-hour block of Internet-streaming video to include pregame and live game coverage, and new episode of 'The Blacklist'

Can the Super Bowl spur digital fans to get super-excited about paying for cable TV?

NBCUniversal will launch an 11-hour free digital video stream — centered around live coverage of this year’s Feb. 1 Super Bowl — in a bid to get users to log in to its “TV Everywhere” services across its broadcast and cable portfolio the rest of the year.

The Peacock’s “Super Stream Sunday” event will include NBC’s presentation of Super Bowl XLIX live from Arizona, pitting the Seattle Seahawks against the New England Patriots, as well as the halftime show toplined by Katy Perry. The live-stream will kick off at 12 p.m. ET on Feb. 1 with NBC’s pregame coverage and concludes with an airing of a new episode of primetime drama “The Blacklist” at approximately 10 p.m. ET.

The free live video stream will be available at http://stream.nbcsports.com/liveextra.

Ordinarily, access to the NBC Sports Live Extra and NBC.com content requires users to log in using credentials from participating cable, satellite and telco TV providers. The free promo is aimed at driving usage of TVE, to ensure those subscribers keep paying for television service.

“We are leveraging the massive digital reach of the Super Bowl to help raise overall awareness of TV Everywhere by allowing consumers to explore our vast TVE offering with this special one-day-only access,” said Alison Moore, g.m. and exec VP of TV Everywhere for NBCU.

NBC does not have NFL live-streaming rights on smartphone devices, which the league has granted exclusively to Verizon Wireless. As such, the “Super Stream Sunday” content will be available on tablets and desktop computers.

Both NFL.com and SuperBowl.com will link to NBC’s live stream of Super Bowl XLIX for fans in the U.S.; that’s slated to include interactive online and social features created by the league complementing the NBC broadcast of the game. The NFL also will serve up a host of content on NFL Now, its digital-only network launched this season, surrounding the Super Bowl.

NBC was the first broadcaster to live-stream a Super Bowl, for Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, and the big game has been offered as a free stream the last two years by CBS and Fox, respectively.

This is the first time NBC will stream the Super Bowl halftime show, after the broadcaster was able to clear digital music rights to the performances, slated to include Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz. The live-stream will feature ads sold specifically for digital (although some ads airing in the linear TV feed are expected to be in the mix); the Super Bowl spots will also be available online at NBCSports.com’s Tumblr page for the game as well as Hulu and YouTube.

To deliver the Super Bowl live stream, NBC Sports will use the same infrastructure it did for its presentation of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games from Sochi, Russia. That includes products and services from Adobe Systems, Akamai Technologies and the Microsoft Azure cloud-computing platform. Rick Cordella, senior VP and g.m. of digital media, NBC Sports Group, said the live Super Bowl stream will be available at eight variable bit rates in up to 720p HD quality, delivered as an HLS stream.

Meanwhile, the NFL said live video of the game will not be available to fans in the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Super Bowl Sunday. Instead, the league and Verizon Wireless are launching a Super Bowl Stadium App to provide exclusive in-stadium video content including commercials and replays from four different camera angles.

For users located overseas, the league sells NFL Game Pass, priced at $9.99, which will include the ability to watch Super Bowl XLIX live or on-demand online.

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  1. Great way to watch the game unfortunately unable to halftime show….

  2. Barb says:

    Great way to watch the game unfortunately unable to watch the halftime show – had to watch the Tmaobile commercial multiple times which almost made me want to put my eyes out.

  3. Wendy Cole says:

    thank you…it is great to be able to stream the super bowl…YEAH!! So Seahawks…!!!!

  4. andy says:

    Lies. Their offer is just a way to get you to download NFL mobile. Then you get to go in circles trying to find the game.

  5. Michaelsep says:

    This article is wrong wrong wrong. There are absolutely NO commercials being shown. Hope the halftime show is really going to be shown or I’m going to have some pissed off people at my house.

  6. Arthur Arnold says:

    Will this stream show the superbowl adverts too?

  7. tomurich says:

    Reblogged this on The TuneUp Promotions Blog and commented:
    And you thought you had to buy a TV? Mot on Super Bowl Sunday!

  8. Derrick says:

    so, What is the link for THIS live stream?

  9. So, how does one go about streaming the Super Bowl in the manner. Will there be a Roku channel? Will it only work on computers?

    I get a nice signal from our local NBC affiliate, so I don’t need this. And I can watch it on my iPhone and iPad using Simple.tv, which I have connected to my attic antenna, which apps on my Rokus, iPhone and iPad. But I’m just curious how this service will work.

  10. J.R.A. says:

    It really will make no difference, as I have severed contracts with cable and satellite television services. If NBC wanted to charge a la carte without requirement of cable or satellite service evidence, that would be acceptable. I would pay a single fee to watch the game…and that is all. Networks and cable channels need to understand that more people are moving away from cable and satellite. It is the expense coupled with excessive undesired channels in the packages. If cable and satellite companies would allow people to select which specific channels they wish to view, it would go a long way to increasing business.

  11. Beer is Cancer says:

    Arrest and Incarcerate all Beer Company drug pushers.

    Beer drinkers are the largest, most lethal, terrorist group in America. They destroy over 10,000 innocent lives each year and over 88,000 will perish because of alcohol narcosis.

    The cancer-causing narcotic DRUG ethanol found in beer, wine and liquor is the leading cause of fatalities for ages 16-20 according to NIH statistics and the leading cause of date-rapes on college campuses across America.

  12. Joe Scaglione says:

    Is this totally free or am I missing something here.

  13. levi says:

    I must say, NBCU that people have been streaming football games online, for free, for quite some time. Offering a paid service really isn’t going to be too successful. Seriously, I can watch any T.V. station from laptop for FREE, any sporting event for FREE. I’m talking about ESPN, ABC, FOX, CNN, NFL NETWORK, you name it…. It’s free online, good luck trying to sell an already free service.

      • ESPN3 streams for free a ton of college football games, including almost all of the bowl games and the CFP semifinals and championship game. This often (if not always) includes the games broadcast on ABC. You just need the WatchESPN app to watch. CBS live streams the football games it is telecasting on its OTA network through the CBSSports.com app. I’m not sure about FOX or the others listed.

        MLB streams a Free Game of the Day throughout the regular season through MLB.com and MLB.tv.

        If you have an antenna and an NBC affiliate, you can watch the Super Bowl for free OTA. I use a Simple.tv to also make live OTA available on my iPhone, iPad, and computer. Tablo will do the same. I’m told an HDHomeRun will also allow streaming of live OTA TV, but I’ve never used one.

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