Most football fans will be watching the Super Bowl on TV with a traditional cable feed when the Patriots take on the Falcons at 3:30 p.m. PT Sunday. But for those of you on-the-go or looking for a different option, FOX is streaming the big game for free.
That’s right — you won’t need log-in credentials from a cable provider to watch FOX’s Super Bowl stream on Sunday via FOXSportsGo.com or the Fox Sports Go app. CBS did the same for last year’s Super Bowl.
However, there are caveats. Given the NFL’s exclusive mobile streaming deal with Verizon, only Verizon customers will be able to watch the FOX stream on smartphones via the NFL Mobile app.
The online feed will feature the lucrative Super Bowl ads that TV viewers will see, but there will also be local digital-only commercials that FOX sold for the online stream.
And, if you have a TV, you can always snag an over-the-air digital antenna and watch FOX that way.
Last year, an average of 1.4 million people per minute streamed the Super Bowl. This year, according to a report in Variety, about 16 percent of survey respondents said they plan on streaming the game.
You can expect more people to stream the game on Sunday than last year’s Super Bowl, given the growing trend of cord-cutters and viewing habits that skew more toward mobile devices and streaming dongles.
A FOX digital platforms executive said the streaming audience size will be a “little bit bigger” than 2016 in this report from Sports Video Group, which has a good run-down of all the technology FOX is using to support the streaming feed. SVG also reported that FOX will stream an online-only “Field Pass” view an hour before kickoff — something that won’t be available to those watching on traditional cable TV.
FOX is also offering a virtual reality feed — a Super Bowl first — that will show plays in near real-time. In addition, the cable giant is also using 8K cameras for the first time in Super Bowl.
Finally, FOX is partnering with Intel to show 360-degree replays during the game. Intel will use 38 cameras, all 5K, to help create the 360-degree replays. The cameras help digitize the entire playing field and, along with the help of algorithms and computing power, create a 3-dimensional view of the action. Each replay clip will last 15-to-30 seconds and use 1 TB of data.