Web-Friendly "Social Bowl" Breaks New Ground

It is the most high-tech pigskin playoff yet, and it might be the event that truly marks the debut of social TV.

This year’s SuperBowl is the first to be streamed live online and wirelessly to select mobile phones, so no matter where you are (maybe you've been sent for more beer or ice!), you can stream the game to your PC, tablet, or smartphone and not miss a moment of the action.

For those in front of their TVs, streaming represents another way to enhance game day with a second-screen experience. According to the NFL, which has been streaming Sunday Night Football since 2008, the streaming option is not just for those without access to a TV. Many of the page views are from folks using it as a complement to the traditional broadcast thanks to the stream's interactive features and access to stats.

On game day, the NFL via SNF Extra (NBC Sports’ exclusive video service) will stream the game live to nfl.com and nbcsports.com. Both streams will be available for free in high definition and will give you DVR-style controls (pause/rewind), including the option to switch between different camera angles and feeds, live statistics, and social interactivity. Extra points: It will also give you access to replays of the always intriguing and entertaining Super Bowl ads (you won’t want to miss the Ferris Bueller /Honda send-up!)

Another option is to stream the game to your smartphone using the free NFL Mobile app, but this is only an option for Verizon customers. You can download the app to your iPhone, Android tablet or other mobile device. The NFL Mobile app will also feature live feeds of player stats and play-by-play updates from the field.

Besides providing live streams of the big event, the NFL has also produced the Super Bowl XLVI Commemorative App (pictured above), a $2.99 download for iPads and Android tablets that features NFL video clips, "Road to the Super Bowl" features for each team, the history of the Super Bowl, and post-game bonus updates.

The Social Bowl
Along with the streaming element, there is the huge social media movement tied in with this game. Plenty of folks will be using their mobile devices while watching the game to discuss the action, review the calls, and connect/commiserate with friends.

This year’s game will have a large focus on tweeting, Facebooking/checking-in, and more. In fact, it is the first SuperBowl where there will be a social media command center handling the official Superbowl Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr accounts. The entire center (2,800 square feet), which opened earlier this week, is controlled by workers using iPhones and iPads; it features a nine-screen monitor wall, and will be manned 15 hours a day.

Enjoy the game—and don’t forget the food! Better get to the store early this week for chips, dips and more! According to the USDA, Superbowl Sunday is the second largest eating day of the year, right after Thanksgiving.

Official Super Bowl Social Media Pages