It’s not the record average of 111 million viewers who watched the game on television, but NBC (NSDQ: CMCSA) says it notched a digital milestone Sunday. The network says that more than 2.1 million people streamed Super Bowl XLVI on computers, tablets and smart phones, which it declared the highest single-game sporting-event video traffic of all time.
Citing third-party data from Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) and mDialog, NBC says 2,105,441 unique users in the U.S. streamed the game on either NBCSports.com, NFL.com or through the NFL Mobile channel that’s available to Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) subscribers.
NBC also said that 78.6 million total minutes of game coverage were streamed and that 1.83 million game clips and Super Bowl ads were viewed digitally. CBS’ coverage of the NCAA’s “March Madness” men’s basketball tournament actually recorded more than 3 million digital viewers for individual-day of coverage last spring. But no single game came close to the 2.1 million mark.
Although it was the first time the Super Bowl has been streamed, NBC routinely streams its Sunday Night regular-season NFL coverage, which averages around 300,000 unique viewers, the network said.
Prior to the game, sports buyers for several large media agencies told us they were reluctant to spend a mid-six-figure sums for Super Bowl digital advertising time, noting that they were concerned that the game wouldn’t attract a big viewership number. This is appointment viewing, they noted, the kind of game for which fans go to viewing parties and watch the game on a big-screen TV.
Sunday’s numbers might cause them to reconsider future digital buys for big sports events.