There is no other television event in the U.S. that commands as much attention and viewership as the annual Super Bowl. Last year's event attracted 111 million viewers. NBC and the National Football League (NFL) today announced that the next edition of the pro football season's championship game will be the first one that will be "streamed online and to mobile phones."
In addition to the Super Bowl, NBC and the NFL will also stream "NBC's broadcasts of wild card Saturday, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl would be available on the league's and network's websites and through Verizon's NFL Mobile app." According to the announcement, this package will also give viewers access to additional camera angles and live statistics. It's not clear if any payment will be required for watching these games. The announcement also doesn't explain which Verizon devices will get access to this stream, though chances are that if you can watch NBC's current football coverage on your phone, you will also be able to watch the Super Bowl.
As more and more Internet users choose to forgo a traditional TV subscription, it only makes sense for a network like NBC to stream its signature sports event live as well. The network is already streaming its "Sunday Night Football" telecasts online and to Verizon phones, so adding the Super Bowl to this line-up won't add a massive burden on NBC's staff.
It will be interesting to see how many viewers the network can get online, though. While TV viewership in the U.S. is in decline, the Super Bowl remains the top TV event of the year for most, as families and friends gather around their newly-acquired big-screen TVs.