NBCU Will Use Super Bowl XLIX Free Live-Stream to Promote Pay-TV Online …

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

NBC to Live-Stream Super Bowl for Free to Promote Cable Packages.

Head coach Pete Carroll, left, and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks celebrate after the Seahawks 28-22 victory in overtime against the Green Bay Packers during the 2015 NFC Championship game in Seattle, Washington, on Jan. 18, 2015.

NBCUniversal will launch an 11-hour free digital video stream — centered around live coverage of this year’s Feb. 1 Super Bowl — in a bid to get users to log in to its “TV Everywhere” services across its broadcast and cable portfolio the rest of the year.NBC reports it has sold almost all of its ad space inventory for Super Bowl XLIX, set to air on Sunday, February 1, 2015, and charged its advertisers up to $4.5 million for each 30-second spot. There’s more than enough breathless cheerleading already underway for what the participating brands may do, so here are three ads for critical-thinking marketers to look for: First, look for an example of why half of them are there. ET on Feb. 1 with NBC’s pregame coverage and concludes with an airing of a new episode of primetime drama “The Blacklist” at approximately 10 p.m.

Anheuser-Busch (Bud & Bud Light), McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Pepsi have nearly ubiquitous name recognition, yet are struggling with sales in categories under pressure. Networks are pushing to showcase their wide variety of content across devices and to attract younger viewers who have avoided paying for pricey pay-TV packages.

Clearly, it cannot be business as usual, even though advertising on the Super Bowl is what they usually do, so what could the brands tell us that would make a difference? Interestingly, the brands are so big that promoting consumption category-wide would benefit them disproportionally more than the competition, but there’s no indication that the ad creative will aspire to anything more than the failed emotional atmospherics of past Bowl spots. I’d love to see Budweiser spend its 210 seconds creatively inspiring people to drink beer, or McDonald’s go all In-N-Out on its ownership of the good ‘ol burger meal.

Auto industry advertising has trouble differentiating itself generally — one vehicle speeding down a winding road looks like every other — and, apart from whatever they’re doing on the concept car front, the vehicles themselves tend to look somewhat similar (just as the purported benefits overlap). Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ:US) has exclusive rights to stream the game on most mobile devices through the NFL Mobile app to subscribers of its “More Everything” plan. Volkswagen, which won kudos for its admittedly sweet mini-Darth Vader spot in 2011 isn’t even coming back to the show (perhaps because those YouTube likes didn’t translate into sales?).

While the game has been live streamed in the past by other networks — including NBC, CBS and Fox — to promote cable packages, it’s the first time NBC, specifically, has made the halftime show available. It would be cool if a car company could tell us something that is truly 1) unique, and 2) actionable in a real sense, not just deliver a link to a web page or prompt a Twitter hashtag.

TurboTax has bought a minute and could tell the world something wildly motivating — like announce a Denny’s-like promo that encouraged millions to file earlier via its services, and offer some huge motivating discount for people to act now and, thereby, save American consumers millions (or something) — but, then again, it has Wieden + Kennedy doing the spot, so it may just be the hilarious or sentimentally generic stuff in which it specializes. Rick Cordella, senior VP and g.m. of digital media, NBC Sports Group, said the live Super Bowl stream will be available at variable bit rates ranging between 500 kilobits per second up to 5 megabits per second, delivered as an HLS stream.

Meanwhile, the NFL said live video of the game will not be available to fans in the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Super Bowl Sunday. Instead, the league and Verizon Wireless are launching a Super Bowl Stadium App to provide exclusive in-stadium video content including commercials and replays from four different camera angles.

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