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The Super Bowl gets ready for streaming

Adriene Hill Dec 21, 2011

Adriene Hill: For the first time, the NFL is going to allow live streaming of the Super Bowl online. The move offers up new opportunities for advertisers.

Joining us now to help figure it out exactly what those are is Ad Age’s Brian Steinberg. Good morning.

Brian Steinberg: Good morning, how are you?

Hill: I’m well. What opportunities does this create for advertisers?

Steinberg: That’s an excellent question. You know, what we’re curious to find out is whether or not they’re going to be selling this separately, apart from the people who buy the $3.5 million ads on NBC, or if this is part of a package. You know, NBC and many other networks for the last couple of years have really been selling packages of ad inventory across their sports programming — not just an ad in the Super Bowl. So it’s possible this is going to be lumped in with everything else someone’s buying for the game.

Hill: Are online viewers really going to ad that many numbers to total viewing numbers? I mean, doesn’t everyone already have access to the Super Bowl as it is?

Steinberg: It’s a great question. It’s available on broadcast TV — you can watch it in a mainstream fashion. I think this is a question that might look more at the future. In the future, I think streaming video will become more important as more TV sets become Internet-enabled, and people can tap into streaming video via the web from their TV set.

So I do think that this year you may not see millions and millions of people watching online, but over time that could change — the balance could shift.

Hill: What do you make of the fact they’re just partnering with Verizon on cell phone access for the Super Bowl?

Steinberg: It’s a great question as to why, if it’s available to everyone on TV, why isn’t it available to everybody and their uncle and cousin on the mobile phone.

Hill: So it’s one of those things where we’re just going to have to wait and figure out, I guess?

Steinberg: I guess so. Some of these issues are being, I think, worked out as people see how consumers choose to work with it.

Hill: Brian Steinberg is a TV editor at AdAge. Thanks so much.

Steinberg: Thank you very much.

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