US media company NBCUniversal will provide 11 consecutive hours of live streaming content free of charge for Super Bowl XLIX on February 1, as it seeks to use the huge audiences associated with the finale to the NFL American football season to raise awareness of its online viewing platforms.
NBCU said fans will be able to access the NBC Sports Live Extra app and website on their tablets and desktop computers without the typical log-in requirement to show proof of a pay-television subscription.
Rick Cordella, senior vice-president and general manager for digital media at NBC Sports Group, told the Reuters news agency that NBCU will remove that step to encourage viewers to try out the live streaming options in the hope they return for future events.
“It's just a great means to promote TV Everywhere and our products,” Cordella said. “With the Super Bowl, we will have maximum eyeballs on it.”
In addition to the game between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks and halftime show featuring singer Katy Perry, NBCU will stream the pre- and post-game shows on NBC Sports Live Extra.
On NBC.com, the network will also make available a new episode of drama ‘The Blacklist’ that will run on television following the Super Bowl coverage.
Cordella said the commercials, a big draw in their own right on Super Bowl Sunday, will differ between the television and digital stream, but added NBCU plans to make all of the in-game ads available online.
The 2014 Super Bowl, which saw the Seahawks defeat the Denver Broncos 43-8, averaged a record 112.2 million viewers on the Fox network.