Party On: The Super Bowl's OOH And Streaming Bonanzas

Last year's Super Bowl delivered in spectacular fashion for NBC and the brands that shelled out multimillions for their seconds in the spotlight. With 114.4 million viewers on average -- jumping to 120.8 million in its final minutes -- it was the most-watched broadcast in U.S. television history.

That number includes visitors to Nielsen's National People Meter ratings households, but not other out-of-home broadcast viewers, like ones watching in bars and restaurants. Nor does it include those watching live streams on connected computers, tablets or phones, or time-shifted viewing.

According to Nielsen's Year in Sports Media Report: 2015, over the past five years, OOH broadcast viewers have contributed a lift of about 10%, or roughly 11 million, to each Super Bowl's total broadcast ratings.

OOH viewing drove even larger lifts, percentage-wise, during the regular 2015 NFL season on Fox, Nielsen reports. Over the season, the average viewer lift (persons 6 and older) per weekly game was 19.1%, reaching 23.6% in week 16.



This year, brands paying up to $5 million for broadcasting a 30-second ad will also be part of a historic development on the audience front: For the first time, all national ads will also be included in the digital stream.

Although just 18 sponsors opted to have their ads online for last year's Super Bowl, CBS made this a mandatory part of this year's buy. And sponsors (who pay much smaller fees for the digital packages) readily jumped on board, CBS’ EVP of sports sales and marketing told Variety.

This, of course, is part and parcel of the media consumption revolution, with younger audiences in the driver's seat. The Millennials that advertisers so covet prefer consuming their programming, including sports, via streaming on their mobile devices -- and the NFL isn't about to risk increasing erosion in that audience segment.

Case in point: As Variety reported, during this year's AFC Championship game in late January, CBS' streaming coverage saw triple-digit gains in both viewers and minutes streamed versus the previous year's game.  More than 1.2 million unique viewers watched more than 89 million total minutes (69 minutes on average) on laptops, desktops, tablets, mobile phones and connected TV devices.

Meanwhile, on the flip side, some 5 million people in the U.S. cut their cable-TV cords last year -- up nearly 11% versus 2014, according to eMarketer. In short, for advertisers, it's a classic carrot-and-stick scenario.

CBS has also made sure that fans have as many live-stream Super Bowl viewing options as possible -- options going well beyond the past several years' ability to stream on computers or tablets mostly through the host network's digital extensions.

This year, in addition to free HD streaming through, viewers with connected TV devices including Google's Chromecast, Apple TV, Microsoft's Xbox One, Amazon's Fire box, and Roku's set-top box will be able to live-stream the game free simply by downloading a CBS Sports or NFL app, The New York Timesconfirms.

Phones -- at least for customers of Verizon Wireless (which has exclusive mobile rights for the game) -- are also an option, through the NFL Mobile app for iOS, Android or Windows Phone.

Digital- and mobile-savvy brands are all over this evolution. PepsiCo's Frito-Lay has just announced that, in addition to running Doritos' final "Crash the Super Bowl" winning-entry ad, it will be launching its next-gen replacement: "Crash the Second Screen." Priming the already poised-for-explosion social pump (last year's Super Bowl inspired some 29 million tweets), Doritos will reward each of three lucky tweeters with $50,000.

As Frito-Lay CMO Ram Krishnan told Marketing Daily, replacing the TV-broadcast-oriented Crash content with one focused on social and mobile simply made sense, now that some 87% of consumers use a second screen for consuming live events.

Advertisers will also have more options for monitoring every aspect of their digital performance during the big game. For instance, Dynatrace says it will be measuring the Web and mobile site performance of Super Bowl advertisers live during the game, as well as offering live pre-, during and post-game blog analyses of their performance. In addition to the advertiser sites, the company says that it will be tracking the CBS Sports and NFL sites, plus ticketing, betting/gaming and fantasy football, and other major sports sites.

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