Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

NFL Brings (Some of) the Super Bowl to Tablets

In case you missed it, NBC has announced that the Super Bowl will be livestreamed on the Web, because, as my AllThingsD colleague Peter Kafka points out, the network expects you to watch it on TV. NFL.com will also carry NBC’s livestream, as will NFL Mobile through Verizon Wireless.

But for those more interested in the postgame highlights and analysis, the inaugural Super Bowl XLVI app from NFL Magazine might do the trick.

The tablet app is meant to be more commemorative than anything else — think of those dust-gathering magazines you collect each year — and it won’t stream the game live.

The app will offer image-rich season recaps for both teams, player highlight reels, polls and Super Bowl history. (No word on whether it includes a slide show of Tom Brady’s hairstyles throughout the years.)

After the game, the app will be updated with 15 to 20 minutes of highlight clips, breakdowns of key plays, interviews with players, NFL.com articles on the game and 360-degree photos.

The video available on the app during and after the game will be “clean” game highlights from NFL Network. Later on, extended highlights from NFL Films, with NBC logos and graphics, will be made available through the app.

The app, which is available on the iPad and on Android tablets, is selling at a pregame discount of $2.99 — which is less than half of the postgame price.

“We’ve seen a lot of fan demand for this,” said Jeff Berman, general manager of NFL Digital Media. “We plan to keep the app fresh for several weeks as we introduce new content, and ultimately provide a kind of lifetime digital keepsake.”

Nielsen data shows that 70 percent of tablet owners and 68 percent of smartphone owners use their devices while watching TV, while a poll conducted by Velti and Harris Interactive shows that nearly 60 percent of mobile users plan to look at or use their mobile device during the game. We’ll likely see some interesting data after Sunday, as well, about mobile usage during the Super Bowl. These metrics are key for advertisers as they try to gauge how many eyeballs are on second — and third, and fourth — screens during big television events.

And what about those Super Bowl ads, you ask? NFL Magazine’s Super Bowl app won’t feature any third-party ads this year, but it will include NFL promotions, as well as ads for The Daily, the tablet newspaper owned by News Corp. (which also owns this site), since the NFL is using The Daily’s technology platform to power the app.

Berman said that since this is the first time NFL Digital has done a commemorative Super Bowl app — it’s the NFL’s first tablet-only app, as well — they’re not focused on signing up a bunch of ad partners to start, though it’s a possibility for future versions of the app.

Revenue generation aside, the app means something else for rabid sports fans: The ability to call up key plays on your tablet whenever you feel like watching them. And rewatching them. And showing them to your friends. And discussing the nuances of the plays.

And unlike a commemorative magazine — which, by the way, the NFL will be producing, as well — the app provides an interactive and updatable experience. Look, Ma, moving pictures!


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