Super Bowl 50 Breaks Streaming Record

Super Bowl 50 saw Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos defeat Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers.  The game was the third most viewed Super Bowl in history.  Perhaps even more impressive were the streaming numbers.  CBS offered free streaming for both the big game and the commercials.  This is the first time CBS streamed the commercials and offered free access to everyone, regardless of whether or not you had a cable or satellite subscription.  The result is that more NFL fans streamed the game than ever before.  A record breaking 3.96 million fans streamed the big event on Sunday.  They watched an average of 101 minutes.

Super Bowl 50

Here are the numbers that CBS is sharing for the Super Bowl stream:

  • Almost 4 million viewers via laptop, desktop, tablet, tv devices, and mobile phones.
  • Fans watched more than 402 million total minutes of Super Bowl 50 coverage.
  • The Super Bowl delivered 315 million minutes of streaming during the game.
  • 1.4 million fans streaming on average per minute during the game.
  • The average fan streamed over 101 minutes of coverage on Sunday.

What does all of this mean?  For starters it shows that streaming continues to expand into new avenues as CBS provided full coverage of the game and commercials for free.  They recognize the impact of giving millennials the ability to stream the big game.  There were still some hick ups along the way.  We understand that some Apple TV users had trouble streaming Super Bowl 50.  Even so it’s very encouraging to see content owners making strides to further promote their streaming platforms.  CBS leads the networks in both programming and online efforts.  They already have their own CBS All Access OTT service that gives users access to current shows and previous seasons for binge watching.

Next year will surely bring another record as fans continue to move toward streaming live sporting events.  We’ve seen the progress since the 2012 Olympics in London when users from around the world streamed the events to follow their favorite athletes and cheer their country to victory.  It will be interesting to see what the streaming numbers look like this summer when the 2016 Olympics hit Brazil.  Hopefully NBC will be ready for the onslaught of streaming viewers.  Perhaps they will take the same open approach CBS did with the Super Bowl.  If not I’m sure fans from around the world will seek other alternatives.  The BBC was a great source of coverage for the 2012 Olympics in London.