Television’s original binge-watching extravaganza is officially under way, with NBC’s five-and-a-half-hour Super Bowl pregame show officially on the air.
There are many ways to catch the action, of course. Those tuning in via cable, satellite or over-the-air broadcast will see the kickoff of Super Bowl LII at 6:30 PM ET/3:30 PM PT.
The game matches the Philadelphia Eagles (15-3) against the defending champion New England Patriots (also 15-3), who are making a record 10th appearance in the Super Bowl. The game is at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., with Al Michaels doing play-by-play and Cris Collinsworth as the color analyst for NBC. Michele Tafoya and Heather Cox are the sideline reporters.
NBC is also offering what it calls Super Stream Sunday, providing cord-less customers 11 hours of NBC content, including the game, the Justin Timberlake halftime show, pre-game and post-game shows, and even the NBC post-game presentation of This Is Us.
Online coverage started at noon ET/9 AM PT with NBC’s Super Bowl pre-game coverage. Viewers accessing NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, and NBC.com during Super Stream Sunday can watch all the action for free, as they will not be prompted to log-in with their cable/satellite/telco credentials.
NBC’s coverage of Super Bowl LII will also be available on mobile phones through the NFL and Yahoo Sports mobile apps.
“Not only is Super Bowl Sunday the biggest day in television, but it’s also become one of the most-streamed days of the year,” said Rick Cordella, EVP and general manager, digital media, NBC Sports Group. Cordella noted that the company saw it as an opportunity to introduce many consumers to NBCUniversal’s and NBC Sports Group’s streaming environment for the first time.
NBC Sports Group was the first to live stream a Super Bowl in the US when it did so to desktops and tablets for NBC’s coverage of Super Bowl XLVI in February 2012.
The full HD-quality video stream will come directly from NBC’s broadcasts. The NBC Sports app is available on Apple iOS, Android and select Samsung devices, as well as on Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Win10, and Xbox. Just install the app and fire up the stream, which is usually a couple seconds behind the broadcast TV version.
If your only option is watching on a phone, this year offers increased options. Now you can use NFL Mobile (iOS/Android) or Yahoo Sports (iOS/Android) apps. They will provide full coverage, but won’t have the post-game This Is Us episode.
Those outside the United States also have viewing options. The NBC apps only work inside the US, but the Super Bowl will also air in England on BBC One and Sky Sports. Online streams are also available via apps and websites for the BBC iPlayer (iOS/Android), BBC Sport (iOS/Android) and Sky Go (iOS/Android). Plan on a late night, as the game starts at 11:30 PM in London.
Canadians also have a means of viewing. Catch the Super Bowl via CTV, CTV Two, and TSN, or online via the CTV GO app (iOS/Android). Canadians will again get the same ads as their American cousins.
Other countries should consult NFL.com for “Foreign Language Broadcasts” to find local broadcast options.
If you’re only watching the game for the commercials, NBC will post the national ads at NBCSports.com as they air. iSpot.tv, which does ad analytics, will also track, record and post ads online shortly after they air. YouTube’s AdBlitz will also have a selection of ads, but not all of them. Many of the ads are already online at YouTube.
Although NBC has the exclusive broadcast rights, others media outlets are picking off some of the action. ESPN will showcase a selection of the best photos throughout the game on its website and app, as well as analysis of big plays and controversial calls.
Podcasts are also part of the mix. The NFL website will offer a selection of Super Bowl podcasts before the game, and offer a special edition of its daily Twitter show, #NFLBlitz, starting on Sunday at 1 PM ET/10 AM PT.
If you can’t be near a screen, but want to catch the audio of the game, Westwood One Sports will carry the Super Bowl live in the US. Its pre-game coverage beginning at 2 PM ET/11 AM PT. The network’s website will offer a station map to find the broadcast in your area.
In Canada, TSN Radio will have coverage starting at 6:30 PM ET. Armed Forces Network will provide coverage to deployed personnel on AFN Radio on satellite, and via AFN 360 Internet Radio, with coverage starting at 11 PM CET.
Internet radio will see TuneIn.com providing free access to Westwood One’s coverage. This includes the national broadcast and the locals in Philadelphia and New England. You can also hear the game in Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Mandarin and Hungarian. This is normally a paid subscription service but is free for the Super Bowl. Streams are available worldwide.
SiriusXM subscribers in the US also can hear WestwoodOne’s national coverage on channel 88, along with hometown calls from New England and Philadelphia, plus broadcasts in Spanish, German, French, Hungarian, Mandarin, and Japanese. Canadian Siriusxm subscribers can hear the national broadcast on Channel 145.