Yesterday, the NFL announced that it would be streaming the Super Bowl live to iPads, Verizon mobile phones and the NBC/NFL websites. In my mind, this marks a significant moment in the annals of streaming video as the potential turning point in the transition from traditional delayed broadcast video to live streaming. Sure, there have been plenty of live streams across the Internet (and not just pirated streams of sports events!). In fact, the NFL streams games every week and the past two Olympics have been streamed online. The NFL claims that 20,000-30,000 viewers watch their regular Sunday night streams, compared to 21,000,000 viewers of the broadcast version. However, the Super Bowl was watched by 111,000,000 viewers last year. NBC has upped the ante by promising excusive content and analysis for the streaming version, which is likely to result in people having both the streaming and broadcast versions active in their household at the same time – the big consumer most likely will be the iPad version.
Why is this significant for the Internet?
1) The NFL and NBC have confidence in their ability to stream content to millions of simultaneous consumers around the world. Although the NFL is not a worldwide sport like soccer (football to the rest of the world!), people watch the Super Bowl worldwide. If this goes well, expect the World Cup final to get the same treatment in 2014. Read more [+]