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NFL announces Super Bowl XLVI first to be streamed live online

  • By Associated Press
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NEW YORK -- The biggest draw in television is going mobile.

The Super Bowl will be streamed online and to phones for the first time, the NFL said Tuesday. NBC's broadcasts of wild card Saturday, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl will be available on the league's and network's websites and through Verizon's NFL Mobile app.

The service will include additional camera angles, in-game highlights and live stats -- and replays of those always popular Super Bowl ads.


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NBC has been streaming its "Sunday Night Football" telecasts for four seasons, and the network has found that it's not just being used by fans who can't watch on TV. Many of the page views come from people using the service as a complement to the traditional broadcast.

It certainly would seem likely that fans would do the same for Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5. The game is annually the biggest attraction on television by far, with last season's Packers-Steelers matchup drawing 111 million viewers, a record U.S. audience for any show.

"Whether it's just for a quarter if somebody has to run out to the store to get something they forgot, now they can stay connected to the game," Hans Schroeder, the NFL's senior vice president of media strategy and development, told The Associated Press. "With such a big television audience, it will be interesting to see the expanded reach."

NBC's streams on Sunday nights typically average 200,000-300,000 viewers, compared with 21 million for the telecasts. The network has seen no evidence they hurt the traditional broadcasts' healthy TV ratings. If anything, the extra options online may help keep fans glued to the games on their sets.

"We don't want to limit ourselves to people not in front of the TV," said Rick Cordella, vice president and general manager for NBC Sports Digital Media.

"The playoffs are appointment viewing," he added. "People schedule their day around it."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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