Super Bowl

Super Bowl Live Stream Will Show the Same Commercials as TV for the First Time

CBS Is Selling TV and Digital Ads Together

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Credit: Courtesy National Football League
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All the same Super Bowl commercials you see on TV will run during the game's live stream too for the first time next year.

CBS, which will air Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, will be the first network to match the game's online ad load to its highly-anticipated extravaganza of TV commercials, the network said, confirming news that was first reported by Variety.

In previous years, commercials that appeared in the live stream were sold separately from on-air spots. While some of the same commercials appeared on both platforms, advertisers were never required to buy both. Some marketers, in fact, opted to just purchase the live stream if they couldn't afford or weren't willing to pay the hefty price tag tied to TV spots, while others skipped the digital offshoot and stuck with TV.

Last year, just 18 marketers that ran spots on TV also aired commercials in NBC's live stream of the game. And every advertiser besides T-Mobile opted to run the same creative on both TV and digital.

For those people who watched the game online, NBC created a Tumblr site that hosted all of the Super Bowl commercials that aired on TV.

CBS is seeking upwards of $4.5 million for a 30-second spot according to buyers, with CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves previously saying the network wanted "north of $5 million." But that does not include an additional fee that will be charged for inventory in the live stream, according to a person familiar with the situation.

NBC was able to secure about $4.5 million for a 30-second spot for the 2015 game.

While the live stream of the Super Bowl has been gaining momentum in recent years, the number of people who tune in via the internet still greatly pales in comparison to the TV audience.

NBC's live stream of 2015 game averaged 800,000 viewers, up from 528,000 when the game aired on Fox in 2014, and peaking at 1.3 million simultaneous viewers. Despite that, adding those viewers wouldn't mean a lot of extra eyeballs for Super Bowl advertisers: The 2015 TV broadacast, by comparison, drew 114.4 million viewers.

The 2015 live stream also suffered meaningful delays, frustrating online viewers.