You can stream Super Bowl XLIX for free

NBC will offer 11 hours of big-game programming as part of 'Super Stream Sunday'

Published: January 21, 2015 01:20 PM

If you're a cord cutter without access to free broadcast TV, here's some good news about Super Bowl XLIX. You won't have to head to a local bar or wheedle an invite to a friend's house to watch the Feb. 1 game between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks because NBCUniversal is streaming the game free of charge—and without a pay-TV login—via the NBC Sport Live Extra and NBCSports.com apps.

It's not the first time the Super Bowl has been streamed for free. NBC, CBS, and Fox streamed the game in 2012, 2013, and 2014, respectively. NBC's 2015 "Super Stream Sunday" promotion is the most comprehensive to date, offering 11 hours of free streaming programming, including all the pregame coverage (starting at 12 p.m. ET), the game (6:30 p.m. ET kickoff), and the halftime show featuring Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz. You'll also be able to stream a full new episode of "The Blacklist" following the game.

Check out Consumer Reports' top 10 TVs for Super Bowl XLIX. And if you're shopping for a new TV, see our buying guide and Ratings.

But don't think the free access is a simply a goodwill gesture—NBCUniversal is owned by Comcast, which is promoting the concept of TV Everywhere, which is usually tied to a cable subscription. To get access to shows on mobile devices, you'd normally need to prove you were a pay TV subscriber and use your login credentials. Comcast is hoping to show you what you're missing if you don't have a pay-TV service.

According to several sources, both NFL.com and SuperBowl.com will link to NBC’s live stream of Super Bowl XLIX; they'll also include additional interactive and social features developed specifically for the big game.

Watching Super Bowl XLIX on your smart phone is an entirely different, er, ballgame, since Verizon Wireless owns those streaming rights.

—James K. Willcox

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