Super Bowl XLVIII pits Richard Sherman and the Seattle Seahawks against Peyton Manning's Denvor Broncos. But this year the hosting venue may be just as important as the teams on the field. Football's biggest extravaganza is taking place at MetLife Stadium, and the NFL has invaded New York City in celebration. Manhattan's Times Square has been converted into Super Bowl Boulevard, a corporate spectacle that offers fans free games, food, and even a glance at the Vince Lombardi trophy. You can track all the latest Super Bowl XLVIII news, learn how to stream the game live on your smartphone, and see the best commercials right here at The Verge.
Feb 5, 2014
Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea has posted an open letter confirming that the band largely faked its Super Bowl halftime show performance. The Chili Peppers joined Bruno Mars on stage to play their '90s staple "Give It Away," but viewers quickly noticed that both the guitar and bass were completely unplugged. In his letter, Flea revealed that only the vocals from singer Anthony Kiedis were performed live. "It was made clear to us that the vocals would be live, but the bass, drums, and guitar would be pre-recorded," Flea wrote. "There was not any room for argument on this," he added, as the NFL was apparently unwilling to risk any unexpected sound problems during the segment.Read Article >
Feb 4, 2014
Fox Sports says its livestream of Super Bowl XLVIII, between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, was the most-viewed livestream of a single sporting event in the United States in history. The internet broadcast — the third time the Super Bowl has been streamed live by a major network — attracted an average audience of 528,000 viewers per minute.Read Article >
Fox says the number of viewers per minute was an increase of 4 percent over the average audience of 508,000 that watched 2013's game on CBSSports.com, and a 52 percent increase over the 346,000 that caught 2012's competition on NBCSports.com. FOX also earned a Super Bowl record for online audience engagement, with users spending an average of 47.8 minutes watching the stream, compared to 38.1 minutes in 2013, and 37.4 minutes in 2012.
Feb 3, 2014
Now that the Super Bowl XLVIII is in the books, it's time to crown the other victors from last night's competition — TiVo has just released a report that pulls together the most re-watched commercials from the night. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a clip of the Jerry Seinfeld / Jason Alexander episode of Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee web series, which aired during halftime, ranked number one. This was probably the most public stage in which Seinfeld, Alexander, and Wayne Knight as Newman reprised roles from the seminal sitcom — though a much more extensive meta-reunion took place during Curb Your Enthusiasm's seventh season, HBO's reach can't quite compete with the Super Bowl.Read Article >
Feb 3, 2014
The NFL's layers of security at Super Bowl XLVIII proved vulnerable to an expired festival pass and some social engineering. During MVP Malcolm Smith's postgame appearance, independent journalist and conspiracy theorist Matthew Mills rushed the stage and grabbed the microphone, exhorting viewers to investigate the truth about 9/11. Mills wasn't just hijacking a press conference, though: he had infiltrated a stadium that law enforcement hoped would be all but impenetrable. Before the event, police and the FBI had set up multiple layers of security in an attempt to identify potential terrorists, mixing plainclothes agents into the crowd and setting up hundreds of temporary security cameras in Midtown Manhattan to catch suspicious activity at Super Bowl events.Read Article >
24 is coming back in May, four years after the conclusion of its eighth and "final" season. During tonight's Super Bowl, Fox aired several teasers for the upcoming 12-episode run. The "limited television event" — which is titled Live Another Day — is a major break from 24's traditional format. Each episode will still represent an hour in real time, but fans can expect the show to jump forward in time between episodes. Kiefer Sutherland is reprising his role as the incomparable Jack Bauer, and other characters from 24's past including Chloe O'Brien and James Heller are also set to return.Read Article >
Jerry Seinfeld made good on the rampant speculation surrounding his and Jason Alexander's appearance at Tom's Restaurant by running an ad for his Crackle series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee during the Super Bowl. The ad featured Seinfeld and Alexander filling their classic roles from the '90s TV series, bantering like Jerry and George and, well, drinking coffee. Even Wayne Knight made an appearance, reprising his role as Newman for what was probably the best bit in the spot.Read Article >
Seinfeld appeared on WFAN radio earlier this week to talk about the spot at Tom's, denying that it was an ad or an episode. Well, it turned out it was both. You can watch the episode now on Crackle.
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The first trailer for the upcoming Transformers: Age of Extinction aired tonight, and it was as explosion-heavy as any Michael Bay film before it. The fourth entry in the series is the first without Shia LaBeouf, starring Mark Wahlberg and an entirely new cast. It already looks like the Dinobots will be prominent, so that's at least one reason to look forward to it when it hits theaters on June 27th. Because that's Optimus Prime riding a dinosaur if you missed it.
For one day only, U2 is giving away its latest song for free on iTunes. "Invisible" was featured in a Super Bowl commercial that also welcomed Bank of America to the Red HIV/AIDS charity — a cause close to Bono's heart. For every download of the track, Bank of America will donate $1 to Red and the fight against AIDS. The song will be available for free until 11:59PM EST on Monday. U2's next album — the band's first since 2009's No Line on The Horizon — is expected to see release this spring. Bono recently told USA Today that "Invisible" is not intended to be the first single from that album. Instead, he said it's "sort of a sneak preview — to remind people we exist." The song can be downloaded by following this link.Read Article >
Feb 3, 2014Read Article >
In a similar vein as Delta's recent in-flight safety video, electronics retailer Radioshack plumbs the depths of 1980s nostalgia for its Super Bowl spot. If you grew up in the era of Kid 'n Play, Chucky, and Twisted Sister — or you're just a fan — you'll love this one.
Feb 3, 2014
Coming off a rocky launch, Beats Music is spending big to get the word out today with a Super Bowl ad featuring popular television personality Ellen DeGeneres dancing with bears. It's a modern take on the Goldilocks tale, where Ellen finally finds her mix using Beats' "Sentence" feature, effectively a Mad Libs for finding music you might like. The ad is co-branded with AT&T, which is offering Beats on customers' lines for $14.99 per month for up to five users on a family plan.Read Article >
See the full ad below:
Feb 2, 2014Read Article >
With Captain America: The Winter Soldier due out in a matter of months, it's only right that Marvel Studios release something huge for the Super Bowl. And... they did. The new trailer for the film expands on everything from the last one, and really shows the Winter Soldier as more than a match for Steve Rogers. Even Nick Fury, who's usually one step ahead of most enemies, looks a little worse for the wear after being attacked by the assassin. The movie lands on April 4th.
Feb 2, 2014
"Take the blue key, go back to the luxury you know. You take the red key, and you'll never look at luxury the same again."Read Article >
The next thing you know, Morpheus is inexplicably in the back seat of a Kia, singing Puccini's "Turandot" and ruining college-aged memories of the transformational sci-fi thriller that blew your mind out of your skull.
Feb 2, 2014
Are you a DJ or electronic musician looking to up your visual entertainment factor, but frustrated with the low-powered lights and tacky mirrorballs available at your local Guitar Center? What you’re really looking for, my raveadelic friend, are lasers. Nothing like the pointer-sized stuff you can get at the gas station — you need big ones that make lots of shapes and pretty colors and look cool as you shoot them through a fog-packed club.Read Article >
Lasers make everything better — that’s just science — and surprisingly enough, the best company to get you started on your journey towards EDM immortality is the same company supplying some of the software and equipment for this weekend’s Super Bowl: X-Laser. Its entry-level machine is the Mobile Beat MK5, a 450-milliwatt machine that costs $1,399 — but that’s just the beginning of your quest to rule the night.
Feb 1, 2014Read Article >
Update: Microsoft has uploaded another, shorter ad to YouTube. The spot, which will air during tonight's game, is titled "Empowering," and It weaves together the narratives of all the previous clips into a minute-long tale about how technology can and does improve our everyday lives. The music in the commercial is even composed using sounds from Windows, Outlook, and Xbox. As you'd expect, there's still a fair amount of Microsoft technology on show, but the focus is definitely on provoking emotion, rather than selling products.
Feb 1, 2014Read Article >
The flood gates are just starting to open, as new Super Bowl ads are already trickling in. Budweiser and Bud Light both tend to swing for the fences with their ads, whether its with sheer star power or just the heartrending use of Fleetwood Mac. This year doesn't look any different — here, a random guy gets scooped up and taken on an incredible night involving llamas and Arnold Schwarzenegger. As far as we're concerned, it's already a contender for strangest ad of the game.
Feb 1, 2014
There will be no shortage of outrageous Super Bowl ads on TV and the internet this weekend – as has been the case for the past decade. But this year, iPhone owners in the host borough of East Rutherford, New Jersey, and those in nearby New York City will be part of a whole new advertising playing field: pop-up alerts enabled by Apple's iBeacon software, as the New York Times reports.Read Article >
Introduced along with iOS 7 last summer, iBeacons are Bluetooth-enabled text alerts that show up on an iPhone user's screen when he or she moves within a close distance of a stationary wireless transmitter (called a beacon). For the Super Bowl, iBeacon notifications will only show up for those who have installed the NFL Mobile app. The NFL has set up dozens of beacons around Times Square and MetLife Stadium, where the big game will unfold. The iBeacon alerts sent by these beacons will contain messages directing iPhone owners to merchandise, NFL exhibits, and shorter concessions lines.
Jan 31, 2014
At 40th Street, the toboggan run is 60 feet tall and 180 feet long, topped with a gloriously huge NFL logo and shuttling down eight people at a time. To get in, you have to buy a ticket — a $5 strip of paper that looks eerily like the $25,000 pieces of paper they sell at the next machine over, the ones that actually get you into the Super Bowl. At the bottom of the toboggan run, there’s a pair of field goal uprights with fake icicles and a breeze of snowflakes. They aren’t real snowflakes. They’re soap suds, blown over by a pair of rotary machines clamped on a scaffolding a few feet to the right.Read Article >
This is Super Bowl Boulevard, a 13-block stretch of Broadway that's been taken over by the NFL in honor of Sunday's game. The game itself will take place across the river in East Rutherford, New Jersey, miles and possibly hours away — but as far as the NFL is concerned, the Super Bowl is right here. There are booths from Pepsi, GMC, Bridgestone: anyone you’re likely to see running a Super Bowl ad. Temporary street signs point you to the ticket lines, autograph tents, or performance stages. It’s a fully realized facade of a city within Times Square, which some will tell you is already a facade of a city within New York.
Jan 31, 2014
For its first ever Super Bowl ad campaign, T-Mobile recruited quarterback Tim Tebow to demonstrate just how marvelous life can be when you're contract-free. Of course, in the case of the former NFL star, his freedom comes largely thanks to a lack of interest from professional teams after his career sputtered out in recent years. "Everyone thinks I want a contract," Tebow says in one of the three spots. "But without one, I've done so much this year." Viewers are then treated to a firsthand look at some of those accomplishments.Read Article >
Apparently being free from the commitment of an NFL contract gave Tebow the chance to help deliver a baby. He successfully apprehended Bigfoot, made an impassioned plea for world peace, and even donned an astronaut helmet. Another ad sees Tebow living out his rock star dreams, saving puppies from a blazing building, and starring in a 1970s crime drama. "Bottom line: contracts hold you back," he concludes. T-Mobile obviously agrees with that sentiment; the extremely expensive ads — set to air during Sunday's game — highlight the company's latest switch offer. Even better? They manage to convey T-Mobile's message without lambasting the competition.
Jan 28, 2014
This Sunday's Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos will be different than previous matches. Fox Sports recently announced that it will film the Super Bowl with infrared cameras, showing viewers players' body temperatures along with in-game stats. But the network admits it's not really sure what audiences will really get out of the experience.Read Article >
Jan 28, 2014
To ensure that Super Bowl attendees can smoothly post Facebook status updates, tweets, and send texts during the big game, the NFL plans to block streaming video from NFL.com inside MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Video from Fox Sports, which is also live streaming Super Bowl XLVIII, will be blocked both over Wi-Fi and on cellular networks. The NFL and wireless carriers have invested heavily to brace MetLife Stadium for the impending influx of data-hungry smartphones, but league executives ultimately decided that streaming video was a gamble not worth taking.Read Article >
Jan 25, 2014
New York City police commissioner Ray "Get Used to It" Kelly is out of office, but the department's zeal for surveillance persists. Police have installed 200 temporary security cameras around midtown Manhattan in order to guard against terrorism during the city's Super Bowl activities, reports the Associated Press.Read Article >
The department has plenty of experience with events that draw large crowds, including New Year's Eve in the same area. Police used a similar strategy during the New York City marathon when they covered the finish line with cameras.
Jan 23, 2014
Two years ago, the NFL started letting viewers watch the Super Bowl online, even if they didn't have a TV subscription or antenna to lean on. When Super Bowl XLVIII rolls around on February 2nd, the small but growing sliver of people who depend on streaming to watch the big game won't be disappointed. If you're not already watching on TV or with a service like Aereo, Fox Sports will be offering free English- and Spanish-language streaming of the entire Super Bowl, including pre- and post-game shows, to desktops and iPads with the Fox Sports Go app.Read Article >
Normally, streaming is restricted to people with cable subscriptions from one of six major providers, but it's open to everyone from 12PM ET on Sunday to 3AM ET on Monday as part of a "special preview," effectively a temporary paywall lift that may draw some people back into the pay-TV fold. The NFL's licensing deal with Verizon means that it can't offer streaming on phones, so if you're looking to watch on mobile (or through a non-iOS app), you'll need to use the NFL mobile app, which lets Verizon customers stream live games for $5 a month. Regardless of how you're watching, the Seattle Seahawks will be facing off against the Denver Broncos at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium starting at 6:30PM ET.
Jan 13, 2014
Kia has enlisted Laurence Fishburne to reprise the role of Morpheus in its upcoming Super Bowl ad. The ad is meant to promote the new K900 luxury sedan, and will reportedly force viewers to ask what is real in the world of luxury.Read Article >
According to plot details released by Kia, a couple will find themselves face-to-face with Morpheus at a valet stand, where the cyberpunk prophet will present them with two keys — all reminiscent of the character's classic "red pill / blue pill" scene wherein he gives Neo the choice of staying in the Matrix or seeing the real world. "Should they choose wisely," Kia writes, "their perception of luxury — and Kia — will never be the same again." It all sounds more than a little bizarre (and perhaps a little offensive depending on the audience), but viewers will have to wait until February 2nd to weigh in. Fishburne can already be heard in this early spot starring the K900:
Jan 6, 2014
American owners of Samsung Smart TVs will be able to use their TV remotes to buy David Beckham's clothes during the Super Bowl. Clothing retailer H&M will run a 30-second commercial for the soccer star's Bodywear spring collection during FOX's telecast of Super Bowl XLVIII, in which viewers with compatible TVs will be able to purchase items through their television using a "t-commerce platform."Read Article >
That platform is provided by Delivery Agent, a "market leader in turning TV viewers into revenue generating customers," and will be shown in action at CES this week. Delivery Agent's CEO Mike Fitzsimmons said that by making its Super Bowl XLVIII ad "actionable and directly measurable," the company and H&M would be "redefining the power and effectiveness of television advertising." But the scale of that redefinition is yet to be seen: although commercials broadcast during the Super Bowl are traditionally seen by a huge viewership, H&M's ad will only offer its interactive element to owners of internet-connected Samsung Smart TV models from 2012 and 2013.