How to watch the Super Bowl

The NFL is the most watched sport in the USA, not only that but Super Bowl audience has broken national rating records many times over since the 1980´s becoming the most watched event in the United States. Word wide it comes a close third just behind the World Cup and Euro Cup final in terms of ratings.

To watch the NFL games fans can tune in 4 major American television channels there are many more options live high quality live streaming and random transmissions by companies like Yahoo. The NFL holds a strict control on broadcasting rights and even shares game transmissions with the top 3 channels in the USA. These are the 4 main channels t watch the NFL:

  • CBS
  • ESPN
  • Fox
  • NFL Network

*Telemundo (a subsidiary in spanish of the CBS) and ESP Deportes are the two channels that transmit the games in spanish for the United States and Latin America and other spanish speaking countries.

*NBC broadcast a smaller game package.

Each features games from either one of the Conferences.

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Quick Fact: CBS, Fox and NBC all together pay around 3 billion dollars a year for the broadcasting rights of the NFL, while ESPN spends 1.9 billion on its contract.

So Which Channel Transmits the Super Bowl?

It changes every year and the NFL can solely decide which channel will gain that right, but to watch Super Bowl 2016 viewers must tune in CBS. Over the past decade 3 major tv channels take their turn broadcasting the Super Bowl. In 2014 it was Fox, 2015 NBC and 2016 CBS. So probably Super Bowl 2017 will be broadcast by Fox. ABC used to broadcast the NFL and Super Bowl, but since 2006 it stoped doing so and Fox took its place.

One thing that distinguishes American broadcasting of sports, specialy with the NFL, is how involved they are with sports betting for a country that bans the practice in almost all states. Almost all of the following channels, specialy the greater ones, offer betting advice, pro betting tips from experts, odds analysis, they cover Super Bowl Betting and have a strong relationship with fantasy betting.

CBS

CBS has the television contracts for the AFC intra-conference games. It also began broadcasting an 8 game package on Thursday nights since 2014. Telemundo is also part of CBS and broadcasts some of the games in spanish to the USA and Latin America.

cbssports.com [1] is their official NFL info site with player stats, televised schedules, gossip, draft, transactions etc.

Fox Sports

Fox Sports televises the NFC instead.

Games that occur in the regular season in between clubs from different conferences are shown on either CBS or Fox, the NFL decides which channel to award the contract to.

foxsports.com/nfl [2] is the official website with player stats, schedules, power rankings, stats and more. Fox ports came into the NFL and Super Bowl scene after ABC stepped out of its contract in 2006. Currently the channel ranks 4th and last in ratings, but improving thanks to their American Football coverage.

NBC

NBC programming on tablet

NBC broadcasts fewer season games but of greater importance. It begins with the NFL Kickoff Game, which is the first game of the season hosted by the present Super Bowl champion.

It offers a Sunday Night Football package and the Thanksgiving Day Game. The oficial site is nbcsports.com/nfl [3] were viewers can find anything from TV listings, shop, tickets and the Sunday Night Feature game.

*Most of these channels offer ticket packages for NFL games, but Super Bowl tickets follows a completely different purchasing process.

Our guide to Super Bowl tickets walks you through the entire process of applying for a ticket directly with the NFL and the other different methods of acquiring one.

ESPN

ESPN gets to broadcast all Monday Night Football games. The officcial website with the game schedules is espn.go.com/nfl [4] and features “chalk” which is a american football betting section, player stats, NFL Nation, stats, standings and much more. For Latin America ESPN Deportes broadcasts some of the NFL games from ESPN Go.

NFL Network

The NFL Network broadcasts all Thursday Night Football games, including the ones shown from CBS but not the ones NBC shows. From their official site at nfl.com/nflnetwork [5] fans can access a ton of different online packages that offer games not televised nowhere else. The NFL offers several different live feed programs that include a lot more than just games. Usually these packages go from $40 dollars to $100 dollars a month and offer exclusive content not shown in any other channel.

Online NFL Broadcast

The following are all official online NFL broadcasters, almost all property of the NFL or in partnership with other networks. Yahoo for example broadcasted the special game between the Buffalo Bills and Jaguars in London, October 25th 2015. Monthly subscriptions are required in different packages.

NFL boradcasting on Smart Phone

  • NFL Sunday Ticket
  • NFLSundayTicket.tv
  • NFL Red Zone Channel
  • SNF on NBC Live Extra
  • MNF on Watch ESPN
  • NFL on Yahoo

*All of these are accessible through the official NFL Network. Many bettors subscribe to these extra-info channels to gain an edge with substantial player information and behind the scenes details. If you are looking to develop a betting strategy and are serious about NFL betting then try joining a monthly subscription.

NFL Radio Networks

Each NFL team broadcasts its local club games through their own radio stations, but Westwood One has the rights to transmit select NFL games nationally. Over 500 networks cover the games on a weekly basis, giving the country and the world full NFL coverage.

These are the official NFL radio networks:

  • Sirius XM NFL Radio
  • Westwood One
  • TunelN

*All of these are accessible through the official NFL Network.

Spanish Broadcasts – Telemundo and ESPN Deportes

How to watch the NFL games

The NFL is broadcast to Spanish speaking countries and those communities in the United States, mostly Latin America and the latino communities in the USA and Canada, by Telemundo and ESPN Deportes. Latin America still hasn´t developed a passion for American Football, Mexico is probably the country were the NFL is most successful in.

Telemundo is a division of NBC Universal and transmits broadcasts Sunday Football and ESPN Deportes Monday Night Football. Their official NFL website is the same as NBC but in spanish nbcdeportes.com/nfl [6].

ESPN Deportes official site is espn.go.com/futbol-americano [7].

Both spanish content based sites are nothing compared to their english counter parts. The content is mostly news and gossip or games that will be broadcast. But both design and extra content is lacking, probably has a lot to do with the popularity of the sport on its viewers which cannot be compared to english speaking viewers.

The Blackout Policy

The NFL sometimes comes with very enforcing rules that no other sport could even think of applying, it is almost like a micro-senate.

One such rule has been the blackout policy which requires home stadiums to sell their entire seating or the game will not be televised in that area. A harsh policy to force people to go watch the games lives instead of the TV.

The good news is that this policy has been lowly enforced over the years and only in 2011, 6% of the games were blacked out, only two games in 2013 and none in 2014. For 2015 this measure has been temporarily suspended.

*Looking on going to the Super Bowl? Check out this information on Super Bowl flights.

NFL Ratings

Nielsen has measured the ratings of the NFL for years, so far 2012 has been the most watched season with 200 million viewers reached, which is 80% of all television households in the USA and 69% of all possible viewers. Once the NFL regular season begins it steals the show for the following 17 weeks.

Super Bowl Ratings

Ever since the television series finale of SMASH, the Super Bowl has become the most watched event in the United States starting in the late 80´s, historically the first 22 most watched TV programs are all Super Bowl finals.

The most watched has been Super Bowl XLVIII (48) with 167 million viewers, although it is rumored Super Bowl 2015 got to 190 million viewers and over a billion abroad.

Reference Links

[1] cbssports.com, CBS Sports NFL, 2015

[2] foxsports.com, Fox Sports NFL, 2015

[3] nbcsports.com, NBC Sports NFL, 2015

[4] espn.go.com, ESPN Go NFL, 2015

[5] nfl.com, NFL Network, 2015

[6] nbcdeportes.com/nfl, Telemundo NFL Broadcast Site, 2015

[7] espn.go.com/futbol-americano, ESPN Spanish NFL, 2015