In New-Media First, Super Bowl to Be Streamed Online

Ads For TV And Web To Be Sold Separately, Though Some May Buy Both

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The next Super Bowl will be streamed online by NBC Universal, adding a new-media dimension to one of the oldest but most viable big-TV properties on the prime-time schedule.

The National Football League made the announcement Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

Under current plans, all postseason games broadcast by NBC, including a wild card Saturday game, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl, will be streamed via NBC's website and Verizon's NFL Mobile application. Online viewers will be able to access additional camera angles and live statistics.

In recent years NBC began online streaming of its "Sunday Night Football" telecasts.

The Super Bowl has broken viewing records for the last three years. CBS's telecast of the Super Bowl in 2010 trumped the famous series finale of "M*A*S*H" to become the most-watched event ever on broadcast TV. This year's broadcast on Fox beat that record, topping 111 million viewers. The online-streaming component of the 2012 game could add more viewership, though whether advertisers would consider that segment as valuable as TV viewership remains in question.

The stream of the telecast will have its own separate ad load, and could feature advertising that is not being seen on television, according to an NBC Sports spokesman. While Super Bowl TV sponsors could - and likely will - purchase advertising on the stream, a TV purchase is no guarantee the ad will also be shown online. The spokesman declined to comment on the price of ads to be shown on a Super Bowl stream, but chances are the cost would be significantly lower than what NBC has been seeking for TV. The network has been looking for up to $3.5 million for a 30-second Super Bowl spot.

NBC plans to give streaming viewers the chance to see the Super Bowl TV ads. One feature will give fans on-demand access to the new crop of Super Bowl TV ads as soon as they have aired on the NBC TV broadcast.

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