Light Reading

NBC to Stream the Super Bowl

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
12/21/2011
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Welcome to the cable news roundup, Hump Day edition.

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s NBC will blitz -- and perhaps break -- the Internet on Sunday, Feb. 5, when it streams Super Bowl XLVI at NFL.com and NBCSports.com, and makes the game available on Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s NFL Mobile app. But its first shot at streaming live NFL post-season games will be Saturday, Jan. 7, when it offers access to the network's Wild Card doubleheader, followed by the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 29. NBC will complement the live streams with several interactive features, including additional camera angles, in-game highlights and live stats. Access will be offered in the U.S. to anyone with an Internet connection, meaning users apparently won't have to authenticate via an MSO or other pay-TV provider.

  • Walmart's VUDU Inc. service has landed on the Xbox 360, and is priming the pump by offering users a US$4.99 credit toward their first rental or purchase.

  • Concurrent Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: CCUR) has been awarded a U.S. patent for inserting ads into network DVR, video-on-demand and time-shifted content. As an important add-in, Patent No. 8,079,052 -- "Methods, Apparatuses, and Systems for Presenting Advertisement Content Within Trick Files" -- describes how to preserve advertisements when consumers fast-forward or rewind VoD content or shows recorded to a network DVR.

  • A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) judge slapped Comcast with a $375,000 fine and ordered the MSO to expand the distribution of The Tennis Channel in an initial ruling finding that Comcast discriminated against the network while favoring two sports networks owned by the MSO -- Versus and The Golf Channel. The FCC's Enforcement Bureau and Comcast may challenge the ruling, according to Deadline.com.

  • Even if you were to believe the rumor that Verizon has even a remote interest in making a play for Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) in the first place, one analysis suggests that the telco would have to pay about $70 a share -- or about $6.6 billion -- to land it.

  • Speaking of Netflix, it inked a deal to offer British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) content when it debuts its streaming video service in the U.K. in early 2012. Netflix already offers BBC fare in North American and Latin America via a deal with BBC Worldwide.

    Ed. Note: Light Reading Cable's cable news roundup will be taking a holiday break, but please be on the lookout for plenty of our Top Ten lists and our latest look at the Web of yesteryear in the interim. The cable news roundup will return on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012. Happy holidays! (See This Olde Website, Part II .)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



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    steve q
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    steve q,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    12/5/2012 | 4:45:52 PM
    re: NBC to Stream the Super Bowl


    I love to know why verizon is not doing the samething and stream the super bowl like the cable company is doing. We have the best data network in the world that what the reader say,our fois network is the fastest and this will be the best way to show it. About the netflix we have to sign with any company that does streaming to show how our data network is #1.

    kaps
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    kaps,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 4:45:51 PM
    re: NBC to Stream the Super Bowl


    It's all about the content rights. NBC has the Super Bowl and Wild Card playoffs, so they can choose to stream if they get agreement from the NFL. Verizon has the rights for games on the mobile device side of things -- right now they get NBC's Sunday night games, Monday Night Football and the Thursday NFL Network broadcasts. Verizon doesn't own any landline rights, so no streaming directly from them.


    The interesting twist to watch for is who will end up with rights to tablet viewing on a mobile basis. Right now Verizon's deal doesn't include support for iPads and the like. But "stay tuned" is what they have told us at Mobile Sports Report.

    kaps
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    kaps,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 4:45:51 PM
    re: NBC to Stream the Super Bowl


    It's all about the content rights. NBC has the Super Bowl and Wild Card playoffs, so they can choose to stream if they get agreement from the NFL. Verizon has the rights for games on the mobile device side of things -- right now they get NBC's Sunday night games, Monday Night Football and the Thursday NFL Network broadcasts. Verizon doesn't own any landline rights, so no streaming directly from them.


    The interesting twist to watch for is who will end up with rights to tablet viewing on a mobile basis. Right now Verizon's deal doesn't include support for iPads and the like. But "stay tuned" is what they have told us at Mobile Sports Report.

    Jeff Baumgartner
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    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 4:45:50 PM
    re: NBC to Stream the Super Bowl


    There's also some good debate going on in terms of how big a deal this is. Will Workman doesn't think so, because the Super Bowl is the mother off all appointment TV viewing.  I have to agree in that the vast majority of people will be watching it on regular TV versus streaming the game to a PC or a tablet or a phone, but I won't be surprised if the number of streams generated by this exceeds expectations just from the sheer novelty factor of it being a first, and a very big first at that.  I might end up being the dork in the room who's checking it out on the laptop to fiddle around with the interactive features.  I'm sure i won't be anywhere near the only one who will be doing that. JB


     


     

    kaps
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    kaps,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 4:45:49 PM
    re: NBC to Stream the Super Bowl


    I think it will be massive... instead of having to rent multiple TVs (something I have done in the past for Super Bowl parties) you can just have a laptop open in the kitchen, the bathroom, wherever... probably lots of iPads using in-home Wi-Fi to have it open as a "second screen" on the couch.


    Should be interesting to see if any brands can come up with social-media ad campaigns in time for the game. I bet there will be some rudimentary "vote on Facebook" or Twitter hashtag plans to keep Internet watchers engaged.

    kaps
    50%
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    kaps,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 4:45:49 PM
    re: NBC to Stream the Super Bowl


    I think it will be massive... instead of having to rent multiple TVs (something I have done in the past for Super Bowl parties) you can just have a laptop open in the kitchen, the bathroom, wherever... probably lots of iPads using in-home Wi-Fi to have it open as a "second screen" on the couch.


    Should be interesting to see if any brands can come up with social-media ad campaigns in time for the game. I bet there will be some rudimentary "vote on Facebook" or Twitter hashtag plans to keep Internet watchers engaged.

    craigleddy
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    craigleddy,
    User Rank: Blogger
    12/5/2012 | 4:45:47 PM
    re: NBC to Stream the Super Bowl


    It's a huge deal in a symbolic sense. The Super Bowl is the biggest of all TV events. To now have it streamed live will be marked as a milestone in TV's evolution to Internet TV. It will generate tons of buzz, as it already is doing here.


    I agree with Jeff and Kaps that viewing primarily will be ancillary to the big screen and perhaps just a novelty for many curiosity seekers. Whether it just comes off as a gimmick for some, it provides a good testbed for what can be done on-screen from an interactive standpoint.


    That said, how are they going to find all the capacity for this without populating millions of screens with spinning Internet busy signals??


     


     


     


     


     

    Jeff Baumgartner
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    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 4:45:46 PM
    re: NBC to Stream the Super Bowl


    The capacity question is a great one... isn't the Super Bowl example always been the one used to question the ability of the intertubes to stream video at super scale?  Since it's a live event, I'd guess they will be multicasting it heavily, but I will definitly try to find out how they are going to do it and how they are going to overcome the scale issues with an event of the magnitude of the Super Bowl. NBC has learned a lot from the streaming of the Olympics, so they have to have a good indication already of what they are up against since a massive busy Internet  signal would offer them nothing but a colassal and very public failure to explain.  JB


     

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