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Only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials? You’re in luck next year if you tune in online

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl XLIX.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl XLIX.

(Michael Conroy / Associated Press)

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, and its commercials, on their own, probably rank somewhere right below that, if you believe the hype.

Seven of the top eight most-watched shows in U.S. history are Super Bowls, with the 1983 series finale of “M.A.S.H.” as the only non-game, thanks, in part, to the wider appeal of the event annually attributed to the quality of its commercials.

How many times have you heard the phrase “I only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials” from non-football fans? It’s a thing, and CBS is going to capitalize on it.

The network is looking to bump the cost of a 30-second spot from $4.5 million to $4.7 million by requiring ad buyers purchase online time as well.

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Super Bowl XLIX set a record for the most-watched television program in U.S. history when more than 114.4 million viewers tuned in to NBC to watch the New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks.

The network’s live stream averaged more than 800,000 viewers per minute during Super Bowl XLIX, but during breaks in the game when the television audience was “treated” to 30- and 60-second commercials, the online audience often was greeted with a black screen and a message saying the game would return shortly.

Super Bowl XLIX saw an 52% increase in online viewership over the previous year’s game and an 86% growth over 2013’s game, when CBS last broadcast the game.

Super Bowl 50 will take place in Santa Clara at the San Francisco 49ers’ new Levi Stadium on Feb. 7.

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme


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