NBC will live stream the Super Bowl for free

New England Patriots v Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Super Bowl XLIX pits the Seattle Seahawks against the New England Patriots, and NBC wants everyone to stream along. Today, NBC announced it will live stream Super Bowl XLIX, followed by the next episode of its hit show The Blacklist, online for free to anyone with an Internet connection, no pay-TV subscription required.

The 11-hour stream will include the pre-game, post-game, half-time show and, of course, the main Super Bowl event via NBC.com and the NBC Sports Live Extra app on PCs and tablets — sorry, no smartphone access this year.

Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz will help make history by performing in the first Super Bowl halftime show that NBC live streams online. That’s notable, as the halftime show has recently grown to exceed the game itself in terms of viewership. Last year, Bruno Mars’ halftime show performance attracted a record 115.3 million viewers compared to the game’s average of 111.5 million viewers.

The Blacklist returns after a near 3-month hiatus for its two-part season premiere, and will be live streamed at NBC.com as well. “We are leveraging the massive digital reach of the Super Bowl to help raise overall awareness of TV Everywhere by allowing consumers to explore our vast TVE offering with this special one-day-only access,” said Alison Moore, GM and EVP, TV Everywhere for NBCUniversal, in a statement.

NBC offered the first ever online live stream of the Super Bowl in 2012 for Super Bowl XLVI and attracted 2.1 million viewers with an average audience of 346,000 concurrent streams. This time will be a bit different, as Super Bowl XLIX will be the first Super Bowl under the eight-year TV rights deal with the NFL that begun this season. Unlike NBC’s live stream of Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, this year’s big game will not stream over mobile devices. Verizon signed a 4-year/$1 billion deal with the NFL and has exclusive mobile streaming rights to NFL playoff games, including the Super Bowl.

Verizon Wireless will not be live streaming the Super Bowl on mobile devices, but that does not mean it will not have its hand in the Super Bowl experience. Verizon and the NFL have teamed up to provide fans attending the game with a Super Bowl Stadium app offering exclusive in-game video content, replays and even replays from multiple camera angles, enabling even more armchair referees than ever before.

NBC would like to see TV Everywhere … well, everywhere, and there are more eyeballs attracted to that concept with each passing year. According to a recently released survey from coupon deal site FatWallet.com, 24 percent of people are more likely to stream their TV content. With 70 percent of NFL fans using the “second screen” while viewing football, the Super Bowl may turn into an annual holiday for streamers.

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