For the first time ever, a free live stream of the Super Bowl will be available during the big game in February.
NBCSports.com and NFL.com will offer the live stream of Super Bowl 46 on February 5, 2012, and Verizon users will also be able to see the live stream via the NFL mobile app. NBC will also stream the league's wildcard games on January 7 and the Pro Bowl on January 29.
NBC already streams Sunday night football games on its Website, offering additional camera angles, DVR-like controls, and social features, in addition to a basic HD live feed. The Super Bowl feed will offer the same features, Variety reports.
Streaming the Super Bowl is a logical move for the NFL, and it should have begun years ago. The game is already broadcast over the air for free, so there's no risk of lost revenue by offering the game online as well. If anything, there's more money to be made through online advertising.
For football fans, the stream will likely provide supplemental coverage through replays and alternate camera angles, and it can be a backup for people who find themselves stuck behind a desk or otherwise not near a TV. Also, it's a safer alternative to illicit streaming sites, where there's a risk of malware. The only question is whether the same primetime advertisements will run during the online stream--after all, a lot of people watch the Super Bowl "for the ads."