NBC to live-stream Super Bowl free of charge--to everyone except smartphone users

The Super Bowl itself just became a giant marketing vehicle for NBCUniversal, which will live-stream the game and its preshow coverage to anyone who accesses its TV Everywhere service on Feb. 1, without requiring authentication or a pay-TV subscription. It's a play to entice viewers to subscribe to a pay-TV service to access all of NBCU's TV Everywhere content, according to a Variety article.

The catch? NBC viewers can stream the game only on tablets and desktops, not on smartphones. That's because Verizon Wireless already locked up the live-streaming rights to the Super Bowl.

Also, fans actually in the stadium to watch the game won't be able to live-stream via the NBC app. They'll have exclusive in-stadium content through a Super Bowl Stadium App.

The live stream starts at noon ET on NBC Sports' Live Extra site and app. Tablet and desktop viewers can also watch NBC's live stream of the game on NFL.com and SuperBowl.com.

Although this isn't the first time the Super Bowl has been live-streamed--NBC first streamed the game in 2012, and both CBS and Fox offered free streams the past two years--viewers will finally get to watch the halftime show on their tablets, as rights to the music to be played were cleared on time, Variety noted. They'll also be shown ads sold exclusively for digital audiences, mixed in with those airing on the regular broadcast.

For those who want more than just 11 straight hours of coverage, NFL Now, the NFL's digital video offering, is serving up a buffet of on-demand programming in the week leading up to the game. It will also live-stream the Media Day event on Jan. 27, and The Rich Eisen Show will stream live and on demand Jan. 26-30.

For more:
- see NFL.com's Super Bowl page
- and this release
- Variety has this story
- TechCrunch has this story

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