Super Bowl 50 doesn’t hold the record for most points, longest play, or biggest comeback, but it does have a meaningful record off the field. According to Re/code, CBS states that Super Bowl 50 had a “record audience” when it comes to streaming. Official numbers haven’t been released clarifying which record these audience numbers break but it is a meaningful continuation of a trend.
Last year’s Super Bowl reportedly broke records as well so it seems that streaming is on the rise for live sports. This links back to Microsoft because this year CBS made the game available for streaming on the Xbox One, among other streaming devices, and the NFL on Windows app.
Microsoft has an expensive deal with the NFL to promote their Surface tablets. This partnership seems to have helped both sides as the Surface gets more exposure (though that hasn’t always been smooth sailing) and the NFL has more users to reach through Microsoft products.
Live sports are one of the biggest walls when it comes to cord cutters. With services like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime running around users have a wide variety of options to ditch their cable or satellite providers when it comes to traditional programming, but gaining access to sports has been more difficult.
Users who want to replace their premium sports packages have to have some combination of over the air tuners, a Sling TV package including sports channels, specific subscriptions to leagues such as NFL League Pass, and more.
User will still have to juggle those options but this trend in Super Bowl streaming viewership shows that there is a demand there for streaming live sports. There have been other NFL games streamed including a game streamed through Yahoo last season.
We’ll have to wait and see if continuing rises in viewership transition into more games being available for streaming.