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Summary:

The Super Bowl drove millions to their TV screens – and away from the computer. Internet traffic was down 15 percent Sunday night, despite the availability of a live stream of the event.

super bowl art

CBS streamed Sunday’s Super Bowl online in its entirety, but most viewers still prefered to watch the game on their TV. Internet traffic was down roughly 15 percent during the game when compared to an average Sunday evening, according to network management specialist Sandvine.

SuperBowl-Total

The company revealed on its blog Monday that the Super Bowl stream did account for over 3 percent of total network traffic Sunday evening. But that was more than outweighed by people who decided not to tune into Netflix and other forms of online entertainment, and watch the game on their TV instead – for which there was no easy online option, as Sandvine noted:

“At Sandvine’s we’ve long maintained that the biggest screen is always the best screen to consume content, and for the Super Bowl it makes sense that most people would prefer to watch the game on their large HDTV. Since the only option to stream the game was via a web browser, getting the game streaming to their TV would have been a challenge for most people, so unsurprisingly viewers opted to tune in via their cable or satellite provider.”

One should probably add that the Super Bowl was also available via free over-the-air for cord cutters with an antenna. Still, there were some noteworthy blips during the evening when people went online to stream:

SuperBowl-Traffic-Share

Sandvine also noted that the availability of free streams may have an impact on people’s expectations, even if they don’t use them en masse just yet:

“Sandvine’s traffic statistics have shown continued growth in adoption of live streamed sports events, but for the time being it is no threat to replace viewing via traditional broadcast methods. It is clear however that live streaming is only going to get more popular, and if free streaming is being provided for the biggest television event of the year, then users will soon start expecting it to be offered for everything they watch.”

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  1. They need to factor in P2P traffic too, if it wasn’t for the Super Blow a bunch of new episodes would have aired,many quite popular like Californication, Shameless US, The Simpsons and the shows are available minutes after they finish airing on the east coast so in normal Sundays there should be significant P2P volume that was just absent last night.
    The quality of the stream is also relevant,in volume and number of users, no idea if it was at least 720p or not (or if CBS had any interactive features – yeah right like anyone actually uses the advantages the internet can offer) .

  2. Anyone else like to see the corresponding spike in Facebook around those same points (kick-off, halftime, and especially blackout)? Point being the Superbowl is far more of a push for social interaction than primary viewing.

  3. Why is GigaOm allowing ads to be posted in the comments section?

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