A record breaking number of viewers is expected to watch Super Bowl 50 on Internet-connected TV platforms like Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and others this year. The game is available free for the first time ever, and will be streamed live along with all commercials.
In the past, a pay TV subscription was necessary for viewers to access the game digitally, but this year, all U.S. viewers can watch via CBS Sports free of charge, and according to a report by Adobe Digital Index, many intend to. In fact, 35 percent of Millennials plan to watch Super Bowl 50 via an Internet-connected TV platform, and 25 percent are very likely to download an app specifically to view the big game.
Last year, when NBC broadcast Super Bowl 49 via live stream, records were set for average number of viewers each minute at 800,000, concurrent users at 1.3 million, and total number of minutes streamed at 213 million. The numbers this year are expected to surpass that by far as the game is now being made available by CBS Sports to all U.S. users.
Those wishing to watch the game directly on PCs, Macs and tablets can do so through the CBS Sports liveplayer, while owners of Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV models from Sony, Sharp and Phillips can access the big game through the CBS Sports app from their platform.
Everyone knows that the Super Bowl halftime show and commercials are just as popular as the game itself, and this year for the first time ever, all viewers will be able to livestream all of the ads along with the game and halftime action, which this year features Coldplay along with some special musical guests, including Beyonce. Recently, Consumer Reports and IBM's Watson even laid out tips to choose the best TVs to watch the big game.
Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst at Adobe Digital Index, expects the digital Super Bowl viewing trend to continue to grow.
"It'll be interesting to see what the future will look like as Millennials and Generation Z become the majority of the consumer base," says Gaffney. "What will Super Bowl look like 15 years from now? Digital channels will definitely take over."
Super Bowl 50, which features the Denver Broncos taking on the Carolina Panthers, officially kicks off on Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m.