Sports Geekery

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Over 2 Million Viewers Watched Super Bowl 46 Online

The Super Bowl is the annual king of all TV broadcasts in the United States. This year, the NFL and NBCSports took the unprecedented step of streaming Super Bowl 46 live online via NBCSports.com. According to the NFL, just over 2.1 million viewers watched at least part of the game online.

As you might expect, this number makes Super Bowl 46 the most watched live sporting event ever online. Here are the online traffic statistics released by the NFL:

Unique Users - 2,105,441 (live stream online)

Live Video Streams - 4,589,593 (live stream online)

Total Minutes Streamed - 78,624,422

On-Demand Clips - 1,838,812 VOD clips viewed

User-Generated Camera Switches - 1,835,676

Engagement - More than 39 minutes per visit.

“The Super Bowl XLVI live stream exceeded our expectations in every way. Increasingly, sports fans are looking to digital coverage as a complementary ‘second screen’ experience, and we delivered on that promise with unprecedented robust coverage,” said Kevin Monaghan, SVP, Business Development & Managing Director Digital Media, NBC Sports Group. “The record traffic that grew throughout the event, as well as the record high engagement numbers, underscores the complementary aspect of digital as an enhancement to our exceptional television coverage.”

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NBCSports has consistently delivered an excellent online live viewing experience for NFL fans over the past few years with Sunday Night Football Extra, however, the live stream was about a minute or so behind the TV broadcast. This is fine for those watching exclusively online (unless you are also following along on Twitter), but it makes it a less than ideal to supplement the actual broadcast. (Note: This delay has existed with all NBCSports live NFL streams over the last few years and wasn’t unique to the Super Bowl. )

We certainly applaud the NFL for taking this huge step in not only providing the Super Bowl live online, but providing it for free. With the new TV contracts containing language that includes digital broadcast right for Fox and CBS, we will very likely be seeing an big increase in these live NFL online viewing options in the near future.

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