Super Bowl Is Last of Appointment Viewing

GTY_Super_Bowl_ER_160201_12x5_1600Super Bowl 50 drew the third largest audience ever, just behind the 2015 and 2014 Super Bowl match-ups.  This Super Bowl also set another record – for the first time, national ads ran in the same spots on television and live stream, showing the importance of streaming coverage.  Research suggests that one in three consumers now watch live sports on a device other than a traditional television.  Cord cutters are struggling to see the relevance of TV in their world.

Super Bowl still has an amazing allure to those who want to watch the game in a social setting with family and friends. “Appointment viewing” still holds up well against digital streaming, because the social aspect is such a huge part of the experience.  In fact, the largest ratings are around the half-time show are as large as the game, with blockbuster performances by Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Coldplay.

This year’s Super Bowl posted significant  numbers when you look at the actual streaming coverage.  According to CBS, streaming coverage of the game on CBS and NFL properties averaged 1.4 million viewers, and viewers consumed more than 315 million minutes of coverage across laptops, desktops, tablets, connected TV devices and mobile phones.

The Super Bowl has managed to continue to capture an amazing television audience when television viewing is changing at a fast pace.  What does that mean?  Well, online audiences are an important part of the viewing audience.   Recently an NFL game aired exclusively on Yahoo and the NFL is looking for a digital partner for the Thursday Night Football.

The rights to the Super Bowl are tied up by the networks until 2022, but after that time, this last bastion of appointment viewing might look mighty different.  We might be tuning in to Hulu, Netflix or Apple for our annual football fix.

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