The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched sporting spectacles in the world, and while most still tune in to the annual event on their television sets, its streaming audience has steadily grown over the last few years.
Almost as famous as the game itself are the spectacular commercials that play throughout the game, with advertisers going all-out to impress during the coveted slot. While companies have in the past had the option to opt out of their ads going out via the livestream – with just 18 of more than 70 Super Bowl advertisers choosing to air their clips online last February – that’s about to change.
Variety reports that next year event broadcaster CBS will be giving advertisers no choice – every ad will be live streamed. This, inevitably, means a higher price for buyers. Sources say that a Super Bowl spot will next year set you back at least US$4.5m, maybe even north of US$5m.
Since 2006, the rights to televise the Super Bowl have been rotated on an annual basis by US networks CBS, Fox and NBC. The latter’s livestream of Super Bowl XLIX this year attracted 2.5m unique viewers, which marked a 9pc rise from Fox’s livestream of Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014 and 19pc more than the very first live stream in 2012. The 2015 broadcast achieved an average audience of 114.4m, making it the most-watched broadcast in television history.
It marks another shift for the NFL as it responds to the changing habits of media consumers. In January, the league and Google struck a video highlights deal to show official NFL highlights on YouTube.
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