The Super Bowl for the first time will be available free on over-the-top Internet devices like Apple TV and Roku — no pay-TV subscription needed. And CBS Sports should be expecting a broadband blitz for the game’s live stream.
About 35% of millennials (18-34) said they expect to watch Super Bowl 50 on a connected-TV platform, according to a recent survey of U.S. consumers by Adobe Digital Index. That’s markedly higher than their elders: Just 15% of Gen Xers and 13% of Baby Boomers say they watch live sports on Internet-connected TV devices.
CBS Sports is streaming Super Bowl 50 live on the Web here for PCs, Macs and tablets. The game also will be available via CBS Sports apps for Roku, Apple TV (third- and four-generation models only), Google Chromecast, Microsoft’s Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV models from Sony, Sharp and Phillips.
Given the high interest from young audiences in particular in watching the game on connected TV platforms, CBS Sports is poised to pull the biggest digital audience ever for the NFL championship game. All the ads in the Super Bowl TV broadcast will be carried in the digital streams as well, marking another first.
That means CBS Sports’ Internet infrastructure will likely face unprecedented demand. Last year, NBC Sports Live Extra’s live stream of Super Bowl XLIX to desktops and tablets set Super Bowl records for average viewers per minute (800,000), concurrent users (1.3 million) and total minutes (213 million), according to Adobe Analytics. In 2014 Fox Sports Go delivered the Super Bowl stream to an average audience of 528,000 viewers per minute with a peak of 1.1 million concurrent users.
If you want to watch the Super Bowl on a smartphone, Verizon Wireless is still the only game in town under its exclusive pact with the NFL. The carrier will provide streaming of Super Bowl 50 via the NFL Mobile and Go90 apps to Verizon Wireless customers. (Verizon Wireless this year made NFL games available for no extra charge to all smartphone users, a feature that previously cost $5 for customers on most plans.)
Super Bowl 50 will kick off at about 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 7. CBS Sports’ full coverage includes pregame coverage starting at 2 p.m. ET across all platforms. The broadcaster recommends a minimum broadband connection of 800 kilobits per second to access the stream on Internet devices.
The Eye’s Internet feeds are available only to U.S.-based users. International fans can access the game online through the league’s NFL Game Pass service priced at $99 per year.