NBC To Stream Super Bowl To Convince People To Buy Cable

Rather than requiring that online viewers prove they have cable TV subscriptions in order to watch its live stream of the Super Bowl, NBC has decided that giving un-cabled Americans online access to the year’s biggest non-curling single-night sporting event is the perfect opportunity to convince people to ante-up for pay-TV.

Bloomberg reports that NBC won’t just be showing off the Feb. 1 game between the New England Patriots and reigning Super Bowl champ Seattle Seahawks. No, the broadcaster will attempt to lure back cord-cutters and win over the never-corded youth of today with 11 hours of football-related streaming content and a Katy Perry halftime show.

Is that enough to get you back on the pay-TV bandwagon and willing to pay piles of money for a monthly cable bill?

Even if it doesn’t result in people rushing to sign up for cable, the additional millions of online eyeballs will help NBC justify top-dollar prices for advertising during the game.

Of course, it’s possible that NBC isn’t trying to please cord-cutters so much as it’s trying to avoid engendering further scorn from the public during this final stretch of the review process for its parent company Comcast’s much-opposed mega merger with Time Warner Cable.

After all, NBC wasn’t so generous with its Winter Olympics streaming service. Not only did that require viewers to authenticate through a pay-TV provider, it would’t allow the lowest-tier of Comcast pay-TV customers to access the feeds.

One has to wonder whether NBC would be so restrictive if the games were being held right now, rather than months before the merger review process began.