Super Bowl to be Streamed Live for the First Time


There is no other television event in the U.S. that commands as much attention and viewership as the annual Super Bowl. Last year's event attracted 111 million viewers. NBC and the National Football League (NFL) today announced that the next edition of the pro football season's championship game will be the first one that will be "streamed online and to mobile phones."

In addition to the Super Bowl, NBC and the NFL will also stream "NBC's broadcasts of wild card Saturday, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl would be available on the league's and network's websites and through Verizon's NFL Mobile app." According to the announcement, this package will also give viewers access to additional camera angles and live statistics. It's not clear if any payment will be required for watching these games. The announcement also doesn't explain which Verizon devices will get access to this stream, though chances are that if you can watch NBC's current football coverage on your phone, you will also be able to watch the Super Bowl.

As more and more Internet users choose to forgo a traditional TV subscription, it only makes sense for a network like NBC to stream its signature sports event live as well. The network is already streaming its "Sunday Night Football" telecasts online and to Verizon phones, so adding the Super Bowl to this line-up won't add a massive burden on NBC's staff.

It will be interesting to see how many viewers the network can get online, though. While TV viewership in the U.S. is in decline, the Super Bowl remains the top TV event of the year for most, as families and friends gather around their newly-acquired big-screen TVs.


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YouTube Goes Live – But Only For Select Partners


Google just announced the launch of its live video streaming platform for YouTube. Until now, live events on YouTube were generally one-offs and focused on concerts, major sporting events and special interviews. Now, however, YouTube will allow a select group of its partners to stream their content live. Currently playing live shows will be highlighted on a special page.

This is clearly meant to be a perk for YouTube’s partners, which include both professional and amateur content providers. Until now, these partners had to rely on platforms like or Ustream to stream their live content.

YouTube  Live

It is important to note that this new platform is not meant to allow all of YouTube’s users to stream their videos live. Indeed, even most of YouTube’s partners won’t have access to the platform yet. According to Google, only “certain YouTube partners with accounts in good standing” will get access to the platform now. The goal, though, is to provide “thousands of partners with the capability to live stream from their channels in the months ahead.”

As for the streams themselves, the experience so far is a bit underwhelming. The current crop of live streams seems to be capped at 360p (which looks anything but great) and the videos often stall and buffer. When Google first did a trial run of this platform with a very small group of partners a few months back, problems like this forced the company to postpone its plans for a wider release. It’s hard to say though if today’s problems are due to its partners not being fully up to speed in using the platform or if they are due to issues on Google’s side.

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