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Super Bowl: Netflix Traffic Fell 20% in First Half, But Then Bounced Back to Normal Levels

Sunday’s Super Bowl evidently pulled Netflix subscribers away from the streaming video service early in the game — but as the Seattle Seahawks padded their lead over the Denver Broncos, Netflix usage returned to regular levels, according to an analysis of Internet traffic patterns during the game.

Netflix usage dropped as much as 20% during the first half of Super Bowl XLVIII and stayed well below average through the halftime show, according to an analysis of nine U.S. markets by network-equipment maker Procera Networks. Then, after it was clear the rout was on, Netflix traffic returned to normal numbers during the second half, the company said, and continued within expected ranges after the end of the game.

SEE ALSO: Netflix Threatens to Provoke Subscriber Protests If ISPs Block Traffic

Fox offered a free live stream of the Super Bowl, available on computers and tablets, and between 0.5% and 1.2% of active broadband subscribers accessed the feed, peaking at about 7% of overall traffic volume on some networks, Procera found. The halftime show headlined by Bruno Mars was the most-viewed portion of the stream, according to the firm.

According to early Nielsen figures, Fox’s Super Bowl telecast delivered near-record-setting viewership, with strong ratings in markets including New York, Seattle, Denver and Kansas City.

SEE ALSO: Netflix Video Usage More Than 10 Times Amazon and Hulu Combined

Netflix is the single-biggest source of broadband traffic in North American, representing 31.6% of all downstream Internet traffic during primetime hours last fall, according to a study from Sandvine, another vendor of network-management gear.

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