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When will the biggest live event on television ever have a chance to become the biggest live event on the Internet? Probably not anytime soon. The Super Bowl is in a class of its own.
CBS (s CBS) News and Sports president Sean McManus told a paidContent conference this morning, “We’re not going to do anything to sacrifice the revenue opportunity of the Super Bowl on TV, such as live streaming.” CBS gains rights to the broadcast in 2013 —
currently NBC (s GE) airs the big game update: as a commenter notes, the big game broadcast rotation gives CBS the rights in 2010 as well.
Meanwhile, CBS News said today it agreed to syndicate its live content in a non-exclusive revenue-sharing agreement with Ustream, the large live-streaming site, in a bid to attract the site’s viewer base. We asked Ustream president and founder Brad Hunstable about the feasibility of streaming the Super Bowl, where even non-sports fans tune in to watch and discuss the ads. “It would be absurd to match those CPMs on the web,” he said. “It may never happen.”
But in April at the NAB Conference, Adobe (s ADBE) CEO Shantanu Narayen mentioned offhand that the NFL had approached him about the technical feasibility of live-streaming the Super Bowl. He said in a keynote speech that such an effort would require “potentially 1 billion simultaneous streams.” So at least people in the right places are thinking about this.
What do you think? Will the Super Bowl ever come online?