US broadcaster NBC Sports took the decision to stream the Super Bowl free-of-charge. This was both a bold move - demand could only be approximated for one of the world’s biggest sport events - and a big vote of confidence for streaming. So, how did it go?Posted on 11 February 2015 - Streaming
It is now a week-and-a-half since Super Bowl XLIX was won by the New England Patriots. As enthralling as the action was, Tibus’s attention was mainly drawn to the live streaming of the event.
US broadcaster NBC Sports took the decision to stream the game free-of-charge. This was both a bold move - demand could only be approximated for one of the world’s biggest sport events - and a big vote of confidence for streaming.
NBC essentially made the decision with a view to using the broadcast as an advert for its paid-for online services. If you enjoyed streaming this, come back and stream some more.
There were some rumblings of discontent. The day after the game, Mashable claimed that the broadcast had been “slow, pixelated and without any of the good ads” and other media outlets reported similar complaints.
Most of the complaints related to a lag in comparison to the cable TV broadcast, which was an issue for people following the game on Twitter or living next to particularly excitable neigbours.
But there doesn’t seem to have been any signs of a widespread backlash.
So what was demand like? The broadcast was powered by Adobe, whose servers we use for some of our streaming services. They released the following stats:
The popularity of the Super Bowl stream has to be seen as a boost for streaming in general. It indicates that there isn’t a scale of event that a broadcaster, government or firm should shy away from streaming, so long as they are putting in the planning and preparation beforehand. We have some experience of that having previously worked with MTV to provide resilient connectivity for streaming of content at the EMAs.
The rise in viewers streaming the Super Bowl in comparison to 12 months ago suggests that people are increasingly prepared to consume content through streaming.
Whatever the size of business your business, it is worth considering that streaming can open up your event, exhibition or conference to a much wider audience. Whether you choose to use streaming simply to reach a wider audience or as an additional revenue stream (through subscription or ad insertion) will depend on the nature of the content you’re streaming.
But it is worth considering when planning your next event.