Fox Will Stream Super Bowl Live to Boost Sports App


Now that the Super Bowl’s participants are known, Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (NASDAQ:FOX) (NASDAQ:FOXA) is offering viewers a look into its presentation of the big game. The media giant will continue the tradition of live-streaming the Super Bowl free online for laptop and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad users in English and Spanish, Variety reports, while smartphone access will be available to those with Verizon’s (NYSE:VZ) NFL Mobile app. Fox’s goal is to land more broadcast contracts for its sports network service.

If the weather in the New York City area holds, Super Bowl XLVIII will be played in frigid temperatures on November 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., home to the New York Giants. Comcast’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) NBC and CBS (NYSE:CBS), the last two networks to air the big game, have both provided live streaming services online. For this year’s event, Comcast will play a role by providing ThePlatform service, but the main thrust of the effort is to boost the Fox Sports Go app’s exposure, Variety reports.

Unlike the Fox Sports 1 Network, which launched in August 2013, the Fox Sports Go app subscribers of Comcast and other cable companies access took until October to appear. Though the live stream will be limited to iPad and laptop users connecting to the Internet, Fox plans to increase ad revenues by using the online broadcast as an alternative to the network coverage. According to Clark Pierce, VP at Fox Sports’s mobile platforms division, there is still space available to advertisers hoping to reach consumers via the online stream. The advertising opportunity is an attractive one considering the amount of viewers who logged on in recent years to watch the Super Bowl.

At least three million viewers watched Super Bowl XLVII between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. That figure represented a 43 percent increase over the 2012 matchup between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. The lack of mobile phone coverage is in the hands of Verizon, Variety reports, due to the fact the carrier holds the rights to smartphone broadcasts.

Nonetheless, with the growing number of online viewers watching the Super Bowl every year, it’s expected to present an enormous revenue opportunity for Fox. The introduction of a Spanish broadcast is the first time U.S. audiences will be able to see the event in both languages. Despite the frigid weather expected in the showdown between the Denver Brincos and Seattle Seahawks, Fox’s Clark Pierce said the company has the technology angle covered.

“We know what CBS did and we know what NBC did,” Pierce told Mobile Sports Report. “And we’re working with Akamai [on content delivery], and it’s not their first rodeo. So I think we’re ready for whatever can happen.”