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Super Bowl 2017: 16% of Viewers Plan to Watch via Online Streaming

Survey finds TV leads pack for the Feb. 5 game, with a mere 2% expecting to watch on mobile

Streaming video has become a mainstream, everyday activity for most Americans — but when it comes to the Super Bowl, most gridiron fans will still be parked in front of a TV set for what’s expected to be the biggest television event of 2017.

About 16% of U.S. fans planning to watch the New England Patriots take on the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5 via live-streaming video apps or the web, according to a survey commissioned by native-advertising firm MGID. Fox Sports is delivering free live-streaming video of the game including the halftime show through its Fox Sports Go apps for tablets and connected TV or at FoxSports.com.

Meanwhile, 71% of respondents said they plan to watch the game on Fox at home on TV with a traditional pay-TV subscription. Only 2% of respondents plan to watch on mobile — in the U.S., NFL games including the Super Bowl are available on smartphones only to Verizon Wireless customers — while 7% said they’ll spend Super Bowl Sunday at a bar, and 4% indicated they will catch the game some other way (presumably via a digital over-the-air antenna).

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Still, if 16% of the Super Bowl LI audience streams the game online, that would be a significant increase from past years. Last year’s Super Bowl, in which the Broncos beat the Panthers, drew an average television audience of 111.9 million. According to CBS, internet live-streaming of Super Bowl 50 on CBS and NFL properties averaged 1.4 million viewers.

Millennials, however, are more inclined than their elders to watch the 2017 Super Bowl via internet streaming. About 23% of the younger demo said they plan to stream the game via apps or online, versus 13% of older fans. About 57% of millennials expect to watch at home on TV, versus 77% of everyone else.

The survey also asked about Super Bowl ads, finding that 43% of respondents said they’re either likely or very likely to rewatch their favorite Super Bowl commercials online. In addition, 6% of those surveyed said a Super Bowl spot has positively changed their perception of a brand.

The survey was conducted by Survata, an independent research firm, which polled 503 respondents online from Jan. 16-17, 2017. Respondents did not receive cash for their participation in the survey, but they did receive access to premium content like articles and ebooks through Survata’s network.

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