NBC's planning to stream a massive, 11-hour block of live programming around Super Bowl XLIX on February 1st — and you won't need a cable subscription to watch. This isn't the first time a TV network (or even NBC) has streamed the Super Bowl for United States web users to enjoy, but the "Super Stream Sunday" will mark NBC's first inclusion of the Halftime Show as part of the deal.
This time, the company has managed to lock down the necessary music licensing rights to include performances by Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz. (Yes, Lenny Kravitz is being featured as part of the 2015 Super Bowl halftime show.) As we've seen before, lucky Super Bowl attendees will be blocked from streaming the game from inside the stadium. Verizon and the NFL will instead offer a specialized app designed as a companion for seeing the game live.
11 whole hours of cable-free streaming
Speaking of Verizon, thanks to its own rights deal with the NFL, NBC won't be allowed to stream the big game on smartphones. That honor goes to the largest US mobile provider. So NBC's Super Stream Sunday will only be available on tablets and computers, with programming set to kick off with pre-game coverage at 12PM on February 1st. The free streaming won't end once the Seahawks and Patriots wrap up their gridiron battle, however. NBC will continue on and let people watch a full, new episode of its hit series The Blacklist.
And while doing so, it'll remind everyone just how easy it is to login with cable credentials every other day of the year to access its programming through TV Everywhere. Don't confuse this whole thing as some goodwill gesture on NBC's part; the network is owned by Comcast, after all, and the goal is to get those cable subscriptions up and increase the number of people using authenticated apps like NBC Live Sports Extra. Sure, it's an easy way in for cord cutters, but remember that most people plant themselves near a TV to watch the Super Bowl anyway.