Sunday's game was streamed for free by both CBSSports.com and NFL.com, as well as via Verizon on mobile. The 3 million unique viewers showed that while the televised broadcast is emphatically more desirable to viewers, increasing numbers are following the Super Bowl online.
The game between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers was seen on TV by an average of 108.7 million people, down from the last two years but still ranking as the third most-watched show in U.S. TV history after the last two Super Bowls.
Networks have not sought to make online viewing as appealing as telecasts, but have presented streams with a few alternatives, like social media integration, camera-view options and on-demand commercials. This year's webcast was the first to also include the halftime show live to U.S. viewers.
NBCSports.com last year streamed the Super Bowl for the first time ever.
There were a total of 10 million live streams Sunday for CBS, with an average engagement of 38 minutes. The figures include NFL.com viewers, who were fed CBSSports.com's video player.
The game was perhaps more record-breaking in its second-screen usage. The social media research firm Bluefin Labs found that 30.6 million comments about the game were made on social media during the broadcast. The previous record, according to Bluefin Labs, was 28.3 million for the 2012 presidential election.
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