Update at the bottom: NBC disputes how original this is to Fox.
Over the years, the live stream Super Bowl has grown from the game to last year’s game with all of CBS’ ads included in real-time. For Super Bowl LI, Fox plans to provide not just the game and the ads, but local commercials integrated into the stream. The Fox Sports Go stream will be available to everyone so you will not need to authenticate or be required to use your pay TV log-in to view the game.
Those who can access the Fox Sports Go stream on connected TV’s (Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku and Xbox One), computers and tablets will be able to watch the game. Fox says all of its 170 affiliates have committed to programming their local digital ads into the game and they’ll have access to the same ad inventory to the linear and digital broadcasts.
Before CBS’ live stream of the entire broadcast with Super Bowl ads, the streams would have the ads, but not running at the same time as the linear broadcast. CBS sold its ads with both the live linear broadcast and digital stream in mind so those watching online would see the ads at the same time as the television audience.
Fox Sports President and COO Eric Shanks said that providing the local ads for the first time would bring an added aspect to the digital broadcast:
“As part of the buildup to this year’s Super Bowl, we’re committed to creating the best possible experience for fans by dramatically expanding the ways and places in which they can watch the game. Our pioneering collaboration with our affiliates to allow streaming local ad insertions will make commercials even more relevant for viewers and help make this year’s game even more of a personal experience for every fan.”
This isn’t the first time Fox has provided local ads for a digital platform. It provides local ads for the Fox NOW Live app which streams its entire primetime lineup to authenticated subscribers. So Fox is now bringing that concept to the Super Bowl stream and we’ll see if it used on other Fox Sports broadcast streams.
Update: A feisty NBC PR person is essentially saying Fox and Shanks are talking out their ass here.