Super Bowl win by Giants draws 2.1M users to view online; social sites surge

Here's some news that's going to be as surprising as the New York Giants win in the Super Bowl (well, the win four years ago, anyway): NBC Sports said the live-stream of Sunday's Super Bowl drew more than 2.1 million users, making it the most-watched single game sports event ever. Users watched some 78 million minutes of the game online.

Super Bowl Charts

Click here to view the charts from this study.

"The Super Bowl XLVI live stream exceeded our expectations in every way," said Kevin Monaghan, senior VP of business development and managing director digital media at NBC Sports Group, in a statement. "Increasingly, sports fans are looking to digital coverage as a complementary ‘second screen' experience, and we delivered on that promise with unprecedented robust coverage."

More importantly, however, was the length of time users watched online: 39 minutes... a lifetime in online video. NBC Sports said on-demand clips that allowed users to switch camera angles (say, reviewing the Mario Manningham catch in the fourth quarter) also were a huge hit with user-generated camera switches totaling 1,835,676.

Sandvine's Better Broadband Blog, meanwhile, said the televised game itself caused a huge dip in overall Internet traffic, about 20 percent less than normal, and a huge surge in downstream traffic. made up about 6.2 percent of the overall total, numbers only the biggest websites-like Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX)-usually see. Netflix, by the way, saw its traffic fall off some 40 percent during the game.

Social sites Facebook and Twitter saw surges in their traffic during the game as early permutations of social TV seemed to get a kick start from the game.

For more:
- see this Broadcasting & Cable article
- and this Better Broadband blog post

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