Jan 03, 2012

Mobile Streaming of Super Bowl Marks a Historic Digital Step

by: in Mobile

When most Americans think “Super Bowl” several images come to mind: crazy fans, great football and some of the best TV commercials of the year. This year, one more feather can be added to the Super Bowl cap – mobile streaming video. Thanks to a partnership with NCB and Verizon select post-season NFL games, including Super Bowl XLVI will be available on Verizon’s NFL mobile. The Super Bowl will also be available via online live streaming video on NBC and NFL.com.

The obvious benefits of this new streaming service are for the fans – having more access to games increases the opportunity for increase viewership and more ways for fans to watch their favorite games. As a digital marketer, I’m wondering to myself what doors this will open up for the future of mobile streaming and mobile marketing. Will the commercials seen on TV during the Super Bowl be the same on your mobile streaming video OR will there be other/additional online and in-app advertising. Either way, imagine the increase audience for an ad. Every advertiser would not only be reaching the millions of viewers watching on TV and streaming online…but those additional viewers choosing to watch the game on their select Verizon mobile device. And if there is additional in-app advertising, the doors are again opening for mobile marketers to reach mobile video streamers.


Two additional questions came to mind as a football fan and a digital marketer:

(1) Would I really want to watch the Super Bowl on my mobile phone? I must admit, my husband, an avid Baltimore Ravens fan, did watch a live streaming Ravens game earlier this year on our way to Florida thanks to the DirectTV app…the picture wasn’t half bad, but the lag time did leave something to be desired. With that said, I’m not 100%. In theory it seems like a great idea to reach those who are unable to watch their favorite team play in the biggest football game of the season, but I wonder about and bandwidth and lag time for the network to keep up with the number of people using the app to watch the game.

(2) I wonder how (or if) the iPad and other mobile tablets play into this? Of course watching it streaming “online” on a mobile tablet is one option, but I wonder, did the NFL consider creating a mobile tablet version of NFL Mobile as well for Verizon tablets? Will the tablet app be the future of mobile streaming for Super Bowl XLVII or for any future major sporting events - perhaps the London Olympics will look to the NFL for guidance on streaming mobile video for their events. Or even online live streaming video for anyone around the world to be able to watch any event on any day.

What are your thoughts? Would you watch the Super Bowl (or any postseason NFL game) on your mobile phone? Do you think this is just the beginning for mobile streaming video of major sporting events? Share with us on Facebook or Twitter.