The continuing smart move to allow people to stream the Super Bowl was once again justified this past Sunday as 3 million people watched the Super Bowl online, while the big game featuring the 49ers and Ravens took no ratings hit whatsoever and was the third-largest audience ever behind 2011′s Patriots-Giants game and 2010′s Packers-Steelers matchup. As we mentioned with last year's streaming numbers, which was an amazing 2.1 million, giving people the ability to watch the game where they don't have access to a television (like work) can only increase the number of people who watch the game.
CBS and NFL's Record Stream for Super Bowl XLVII
It's generally accepted that people want to watch the game on the biggest screen possible. That's what everybody wants to do: have a big screen and lots of food and drinks to consume and have a great time. Very few people would actually choose to watch it on a smaller screen, unless they're in no position to party. And that's why streaming big events online works. It's not an alternative, it's an additive.
Many people will not be able to watch the game, and being able to stream it gives them that chance. Also, many people choose to have it running even with a big screen in their presence. Sometimes at those parties, you might not be able to have a good view, or you need to go to the bathroom, or get even more snacks, and you don't want to miss a thing.
I'm sure there are executives who will say, "See, there's 3 million people we lost," but that's ridiculous to the point of absurdity. Streaming has been working, and hopefully will continue.