Forget the screen pass. When Super Bowl XLVI rolls around in February, you may find yourself calling an audible for a stream pass instead.
The NFL will make its biggest game available as a legal stream for the first time ever when the gridiron contest kicks off in Indianapolis in two months.
Television’s biggest annual event will stream through the league’s NFL.com website as well as that of game broadcaster NBC. Verizon’s (VZ) NFL Mobile app will also have access to the most important game of the pro football season.
It’s a sign of the times.
There’s been plenty written about smartphones and tablets as “good enough” computers, eating away at desktop and laptop sales in recent quarters. However, the growing number of streaming possibilities also makes these devices “good enough” to replace television viewing for those on the go.
NBC co-parent Comcast (CMCSA) knows all about this, since it has suffered net defections at its flagship cable television service over the past year. NBC has also been successful with its Sunday Night Football games served up as streams for those that can’t be near a TV.
The network estimates that 200,000 to 300,000 viewers stream its Sunday Night Football games. This is a substantial number, but it’s a far cry from the average of 21 million people that consume the broadcasts through their television. One can only imagine how well the Super Bowl will fare considering that the championship game draws more than five times as many spectators in the United States alone.
More than a million folks streaming the Super Bowl seems reasonable, even though many see the game as a social event. Fans — and more than a few non-football fans — gather to catch the big game and the occasionally bigger commercials.
However, don’t be surprised if someone at your Super Bowl party fires up a tablet or laptop. The official streams will enhance the game through additional camera angles, in-game highlights, and live stats. Replays of the costly commercials will also be available.
The Super Bowl is a big game, and now it’s available on your smallest screens.
Longtime Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article.