CBS nets record 3.96 million unique Super Bowl streamers; NFL looks to cash in

As the NFL looks to further extend its very stretched broadcast licensing reach to even more digital platforms, CBS Corp. has given it even more incentive.

CBS reported that a record 3.96 million unique users live-streamed Super Bowl 50 featuring the Denver Broncos 23-10 win over the Carolina Panthers Sunday. That's a huge audience, considering that NBC reported a streaming audience of 1.4 million unique users for Super Bowl 49, which is the all-time most-watched Super Bowl. 

The year prior, Fox reported 1.1 million uniques for Super Bowl 48.

CBS said that viewers consumed more than 402 million total minutes of coverage, watching on average for more than 101 minutes each. With CBS extending its linear commercial inventory to digital, this resulted in considerably enhanced reach for advertisers. 

The news comes as the NFL is reportedly trying to convince Verizon (NYSE: VZ) to expand on its $1 billion pro football rights package and become the third streaming wheel to its Thursday Night Football package.

Last week, the NFL announced that Comcast/NBCUniversal (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and CBS will each pay $225 million next season for the rights to air five regular-season Thursday night games. These games will also air on cable's NFL Network.

Further, the NFL said it was trying to find yet another broadcaster partner in the digital realm to further stretch out its Thursday-night rights. Such a deal could boost Verizon's new mobile-video platform, go90. 

For more:
- read this CBS press release
- read this Re/code story
- read this TechCrunch story
- read this New York Post story

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