ViacomCBS Eyes Super Bowl LV as Major Paramount+ Marketing Tool

Ahead of Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7, in Tampa Bay, Fla., ViacomCBS is expanding the big game’s streaming reach across its digital properties. While the game will be broadcast on CBS Sports, it will also be available on CBSSports.com, CBS Sports app, in addition to Yahoo Sports, and ESPN digital properties.

The game, which will feature the first-ever female official (Down Judge Sarah Thomas), will also be live-streamed on CBS All Access, the SVOD platform that is rebranding to Paramount+ on March 4. As such, expect to see multiple tie-ins across ViacomCBS properties marketing the pending change, including AVOD platform Pluto TV.

Separate data from digital marketing agency Adtaxi found that 68% of survey respondents said they would forgo attending a Super Bowl party to watch the game at home alone.

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Last year’s Super Bowl LIV contest between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers saw 3.4 million people live-stream the game per minute, which was 30% more than the 2.6 million per minute who live-streamed Super Bowl LIII in 2019; and 103% more than the 1.7 million per minute who live-streamed Super Bowl LI in 2017.

“We’re excited to broaden the availability of our Super Bowl LV stream this year, and we look forward to building on the incredibly strong momentum NFL football is driving on CBS All Access as a cornerstone of the extensive live sports offerings available on the service,” Jeff Gerttula, EVP and GM, CBS Sports Digital, said in a statement.

Regardless, the Super Bowl remains a broadcast TV mainstay. The annual broadcast remains the single-day highest rated TV program with more than 100 million people tuning in.

Roku, Fox in Carriage Dispute Entering Super Bowl Weekend

In a first, Roku has notified its 32.3 million platform users that it might pull the Fox Channel app ahead of the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, which will be broadcast on Fox.

“Roku’s distribution agreement with Fox Corp. is set to expire on Jan. 31,” the streaming device pioneer said in a statement. “We offered Fox an extension so that Roku can continue to bring a large and valuable audience to Fox. If an agreement is not reached, we will be forced to remove Fox channels from the Roku platform.”

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Last-minute TV carriage disputes among pay-TV distributors and content holders have become customary, especially ahead of a marquee events such as the Super Bowl or NCAA March Madness. Roku has now brought the negotiation tactic to streaming video.

Fox said Roku’s last-minute strategy was a “poorly timed negotiating ploy” aimed at driving more favorable contract leverage.

“Roku’s threat to delete Fox apps from its customers’ devices is a naked effort to use its customers as pawns,” Fox said in a statement.

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On its Twitter social media app, Roku said people could still stream Fox programming through Fubo TV, Sling TV, Hulu With Live TV, and YouTube TV, among others.

“Many of these services offer a free trial,” Roku tweeted.

Roku, which ranks as the No. 1 streaming device ahead of Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Google Chromecast, reported $179 million in ad-generated platform revenue in the most-recent fiscal period.

 

Hulu Unveils Super Bowl Spot for Series from J.J. Abrams and Stephen King

Hulu has unveiled its Super Bowl commercial for upcoming original series “Castle Rock” from J.J. Abrams and Stephen King. The series premieres this summer exclusively on Hulu.

A psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, “Castle Rock” stars André Holland, Melanie Lynskey, Sissy Spacek, Billy Skarsgård, Jane Levy and Scott Glenn.

The “Castle Rock” Super Bowl spot can be seen here: https://youtu.be/fwmhiqUPa28

Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason developed the project for television and serve as executive producers along with J.J. Abrams, Ben Stephenson and Liz Glotzer. “Castle Rock” is produced by Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.