SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – More than 100 million people will be glued to their TV screens on Sunday, when the Denver Broncos take on the Seattle Seahawks in America’s premier sporting contest, the Super Bowl.
But two fierce rivals, Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc, will also be clashing head-to-head on a “second screen” that TV viewers will tune in for the big game.
The two social networks are jostling to be the venue of choice for fans to comment on big plays, the star-studded halftime show and of course the commercials – multimillion dollar productions by major brands that are often a draw in their own right.
Live streaming feeds of the Super Bowl broadcast are banned inside the stadium to prevent the cell networks in the area from getting swamped. But soon, this might not be necessary. Verizon’s LTE-Broadcast allows streaming video to be multicast rather than unicast as they are today. This means that every viewer of a streamed video currently requires a separate channel on the network. Two viewers, even if they are watching the same program,would require two channels. You could see how, in a stadium filled with 80,000 people, a network could easily be swamped.
Microsoft has never aired a national Superbowl ad before. That changes this Sunday when a company ad will air during the Superbowl game between the Seahawks and Broncos.
“With our great partnership with Xbox and Surface with the NFL, and Bing with the Seahawks, it’s a logical step to extend that participation,” said Microsoft spokesman Lou Gellos, who declined to say how much Microsoft is spending on the ad.
Gotta love this. Tim Tebow used to be on contract in the NFL. T-Mobile also doesn’t have contracts (sort of, only, really, it does), but it now has Tim Tebow. Riding bulls. And driving muscle cars. And rocking out. And delivering babies. And finding Sasquatch. And finding world peace. And walking on the moon.