The 2012 Super Bowl offered an historic technological first. In addition to broadcast, for the first time in history the big game was streaming live (legally), courtesy of television network NBC.
When I heard that the game would be streaming live, I became giddy with excitement, as this is a major move in the right direction towards accepting and utilizing new media. By legally streaming the game, I felt like NBC was finally making an effort to reach out to and include my growing demographic of young and techy consumers. After all, many of us use alternative methods to view media and don’t subscribe to cable anymore, and 2.1 million of us tuned in to watch the live stream.
In my opinion, NBC fell massively short on its move to stream the game. Here’s a list of massive fails experienced by Super Bowl Streamers:
Streaming Fail #1: Viewers did not get to see the half-time show.
Streaming Fail #2: Viewers did not get to see the Super Bowl commercials.
Streaming Fail #3: Viewers experienced a significant loss of video quality.
Streaming Fail #4: Viewers watched the same 3 commercials on repeat for the entire game (somebody shoot me please). Note: these 3 commercials were the only content that was exclusive online to the Super Bowl streamers.
Streaming Fail #5: Viewers experienced awkward transitions between the game and commercial breaks, often missing game play.
Streaming Fail #7: Viewers experienced a delay of 10-15 minutes, making Twitter and Facebook a total spoiler alert.
….Whatever… We just streamed all the good commercials, the best plays, and the halftime show later. So, take that!
I knew of at least 3 Superbowl parties that were exclusively streaming the game, and I witnessed all of the smack talk go down by disappointed viewers. And I don’t mean the smack talk about the players and teams. I mean the smack talk about NBC and their horrendously embarrassing display of streaming media. I recall frequently hearing statements at the party such as “(expletive deleted) get it together NBC!” and “please make it stop!” … Let’s just say it got ugly.
I understand there are probably many motives for NBC to intentionally have the experience be “less than optimal” for streaming viewers. First and foremost, NBC’s television advertisers would likely start seeing red if their multimillion dollar time slots became digitally undermined by streaming. All other reasons after that are just icing on the cake.
Don’t get me wrong. I am very pleased that NBC made an effort to stream. Hopefully they’ll regroup and get it together for their next major television event. Here are a few tweets from angry viewers: