Super Bowl Sunday is a major social event for many football fans, but not everyone will be lucky enough to be sitting in front of a TV when kickoff arrives. For some of those fans, the NFL has introduced a welcome alternative to missing out on the action altogether.
For the first time, the NFL is streaming the Super Bowl live online at nbcsports.msnbc.com. If anything, the move is overdue, as sports broadcasts increasingly add a web component to help out fans for whom a computer is the only option to watch their favorite team.
The NFL may just be trying to keep up with the times, but making the game available online is one of the most fan-friendly moves in the recent history of the No Fun League. After all, this is the same organization that, a year ago, was being excoriated by the press for leaving some Super Bowl attendees to watch the game on TV monitors after a fire marshal nixed the temporary seating they had expected to occupy.
Even more recently, the league missed a simple opportunity to build goodwill with upstate fans of the Super Bowl-bound Giants. New York’s playoff date with Atlanta coincided with a home basketball game at Albany-area Siena College, and the school had hoped to show the football game on the scoreboard to keep fans from having to choose between them.
To the surprise of basically no one, the league kiboshed the school’s plan.
The introduction of online streaming—to be fair—has even less potential to cost the league anything, considering that nobody is going to choose a small computer screen over a large TV to watch football. Still, it’s a refreshing sign to see the league doing something that benefits the fans without trying to squeeze a few gratuitous dollars out of them in the process.