Super Bowl LI will livestream for free. but this year the stream will feature local ads.
According to Variety, Fox Sports has teamed with 170 local Fox affiliates to sell ad inventory for the livestream. The ads will be dynamically inserted into the livestream based on the location of viewers.
The ad inventory will be identical to the national broadcast and all national ads will remain the same in the livestream.
“Our pioneering collaboration with our affiliates to allow streaming local ad insertions will make commercials even more relevant for viewers and help make this year’s game even more of a personal experience for every fan,” Fox Sports President Eric Shanks told the publication.
As the report points out, last year’s Super Bowl pulled in a livestreaming audience of 1.4 million, small potatoes compared to the 111 million people who watched the game on TV. But more local relevance for the livestream could help tilt the numbers toward online viewership.
In addition to its plans for local ads in the live stream, Fox Sports is also introducing another first in terms of instant replays during the game.
This year, Fox has partnered with Intel for a “Be the Player” feature that will give viewers a player’s point-of-view on replays without the need for physical cameras to be mounted on players’ helmets.
“We tasked Intel to push their amazing Intel 360 Replay technology to the limit of what it could do, using their array of cameras circling the stadium to synthesize a player’s view on the field,” said Michael Davies, senior vice president of field and technical operations at Fox Sports, in a statement. “The cameras, backed up by a huge bank of Intel computing power, allow a moment to be recreated in 3D space, so that a ‘virtual camera’ can be placed at the player’s eye line—not unlike how limitless camera views can be created in video games.”