The Super Bowl is the biggest spectacle in all of sports, and it's only getting bigger. In a very savvy move that caters to the ever-changing modern media landscape, the NFL has chosen to offer a free live stream of the big game online.
This is only going to enhance its already massive reach while also providing fans with a truly unique and interactive experience.
The live stream will be available for the first time on CBSSports.com, but that is only the beginning. The site allows users the ability to choose their own camera angles, so it isn't just an alternative viewing experience—it's an innovative one.
Theoretically, one could have the game playing on the CBS telecast, and then have a laptop or tablet device open with the focus on a different camera.
That alone sounds like a big win, yet CBS is also offering a stream of the halftime show, headlined by Beyonce, and the opportunity to view the best Super Bowl commercials on demand after they have aired. Such a feature ropes in casual viewers to the site who may not normally go, especially if they don't necessarily care about the football aspect of Super Bowl XLVII.
What also exists is the opportunity for fans to interact online as the action unfolds, which will generate even more buzz, traffic and discussion for the NFL while heightening fan excitement. A tracker is displayed for social media activity, with a trend of that data to be showcased as well.
This is an unstoppable publicity machine for the league that bolsters the consumer's investment of time in an unprecedented way.
But wait, there's more. Verizon's NFL Mobile app for smartphones is also streaming the game, which takes advantage of the rapidly growing prominence of mobile devices. The CBS Sports mobile app will provide stats, commercial viewing opportunities and live social media feeds as well.
If there has ever been a circumstance where a major professional sport has been more accessible and embraced new forms of media despite its massive scope, it's hard to recall. Even non-football fans can appreciate these new features.
Coverage or "Radio Row," along with behind-the-scenes access to the media frenzy has also been introduced throughout the week by NFL.com, CBS and FOX.
This is a truly groundbreaking game between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens. It is an unparalleled head coaching battle between two brothers, with plenty of other scintillating storylines.
But what may be even more fascinating is how the league has adjusted to new technological advancements—and capitalized on them—without the need to rake in any more profits of its own. That benefits the league and, more importantly, its many fans.