Super Bowl 2012 Free Live Stream on NBC Sports Details

Saturday, February 4, 2012

As reported last December, the Super Bowl 2012 will be for the first time ever streamed live on the web. You can watch the Super Bowl for free on the NBC Sports web site.

Watch the 2012 Super Bowl Ads

It is going to be a real technical challenge to offer online streaming of an event like the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl stream is also not just a little small video feed, it is actually going to be broadcasted in HD. About 111 Million watched the Super Bowl 2011 in the United States alone. It is hard to say how many will tune in this year via the online stream.

The Super Bowl XLVI game will be streamed in hi-definition through a technology called Smooth Streaming, part of Microsoft Silverlight.
When watching a video with Smooth Streaming, the Bit Rate indicator (signal strength meter) on the right end of the control bar will indicate the quality. When the video is playing at optimal definition, the HD icon will appear.

Below we list the requirements and availability details of the free Super Bowl 2012 online video stream.
Requirements to watch the Super Bowl Online:
You need the latest version of Microsoft Silverlight in order to access the high quality video presentation. Download the latest version of Silverlight on

The Super Bowl video stream is supported on the following browsers:
  •     32-bit Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9 for Windows (2003, XP SP2 or greater, Vista, and Windows 7)
  •     64-bit Internet Explorer 9 for Windows 7 SP1
  •     Firefox 3.6+ for Windows (2003, XP SP2 or greater, Vista, and Windows 7) and Macintosh (Intel only)
  •     Safari 4+ for Macintosh (Intel only)
  •     Chrome 12+ for Windows (2003, XP SP2 or greater, Vista, and Windows 7)

NBC Sports recommends the following hardware configuration for watching the Super Bowl online.
Minimum Configuration:
2.4 GHz Pentium 4 or Intel-based Macintosh, 1 GB RAM, hardware acceleration-capable graphics card,  768k broadband connection 

Ideal Configuration:
2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 (Windows or Macintosh), 1 GB RAM, hardware acceleration-capable graphics card 2500k broadband connection 

Availability of the Super Bowl 2012 Online Stream:
As expected the free Super Bowl XLVI online video stream is only available in the United States. The rest of the world will have to watch the Super Bowl 2012 on TV on their local station. The disadvantage is that the American Super Bowl ads are not part of the local TV casts. We have you covered though and you can watch all Super Bowl 2012 Ads in our video library as they become available.

The only workaround to access the Super Bowl stream from Europe or other regions is access via proxies and VPN services that are located in the United States.

Start Time of Free Super Bowl Live Stream:
The Super Bowl Extra Player will launch at 2pm ET for the Pre-game Super Bowl coverage. 

A Note on Super Bowl Ads on the Live Stream:
Apparently the ads in the online stream are different from the ones shown on TV. If true this is totally confusing. We will report about live once the stream goes online.

Access the Super Bowl 2012 Free video stream on NBC Sports or use this direct url:

See also our report on How to watch the Super Bowl 2012 on a Mobile Phone.


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