NFL to stream the Super Bowl to iPhone, iPad apps (Updated)

Update: As commenters have pointed out, this is for iPhone users on Verizon ONLY. Pity.

I'm excited about this one, both for what it is, and for the potential of what it could be. The NFL has decided, in a (rare?) move of generosity, to stream the Super Bowl broadcast out to its mobile device apps, including the official NFL app on the iPhone and iPad. The stream on the app will actually have more information, including more camera angles and live stats on it, than the official television broadcast, and of course it'll be available in places that people without a normal television setup might not reach. The NFL has already provided some games for streaming, but this February's Super Bowl (and also the Pro Bowl) will likely be one of the largest potential audiences the apps could yet reach.

I think this is awesome -- I don't have an HD cable set up any more (instead, I use Netflix and Hulu for my television content), and so, at the bare minimum, this gives me a way to watch the game officially. But even more than that, I'll probably be at a friend's house to watch the proceedings anyway, and this means that we'll have second screen access through my iPad to more information, stats, and live updates as the game goes on. That means more engagement for the NFL, not to mention more places to sell more ads, and create more revenue on what's already one of the most profitable broadcasts around.

In short, this is a great move, not only for us the NFL's consumers, but for the network itself. I'll bet that we'll see some very surprising stats after the game in February on just how many people tuned in this way. Given how popular "second screen" content is getting, I think this will do very well.