Super Bowl XLVI: The Big Game Goes Mobile

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Joe Horn, this is not what I meant when I said "The Big Game Goes Mobile.

Yesterday, football fans received an early Christmas present when the NFL announced that the Super Bowl will be streamed for the first time ever online (on NFL.com and NBCsports.com) and on Verizon smartphones (via the NFL Mobile App). It’s a sign of the times when what will surely be one of the most watched television programs of 2012 (second, probably only to the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics, if you ask me for my predictions) has gone mobile, like most of us have. Today, most of us are glued to some device or other, so it only makes sense for the NFL to offer football fans the option and convenience to watch the biggest game of the year wherever and however they want.

Now as a football fan and a hostess of a few Super Bowl parties in years past (fine, I admit I only hosted parties when my Pats were in the big game), I wonder what this will mean for the communal aspect of the Super Bowl. With the game available on various media, will the Super Bowl party feature friends and fans sitting around the living room each on their smartphone, tablet or laptop? Sure, even during las year’s game, many people were on their mobile phone or laptop anyways (according to a survey by E*TRADE* before Super Bowl XLV, 47% of those who were planning to catch the game expected to communicate with others during the game via social media or text messaging), but being on their device checking texts and Tweets sporadically during a game and actually watching the game on the personal device is different; it makes viewing the game a much more isolated and closed-off activity. And I’m not sure how I feel about that. What I am sure about though is that those who plan to stream the game on their smartphones better watch their data consumption!

So now I open it up to you. What do you think about Super Bowl XLVI being available for streaming online and on smartphones? Do you think the access to multiple camera angles, in-game highlights, live stats and replays of Super Bowl ads the NFL is touting of this service will be enough to actually entice people to view the game online or in-app? On February 5, how will you be watching the big game? CJP

* Disclaimer: E*Trade is a CJP client.

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