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CBS Will Live-Stream Super Bowl Ads Next Year

The network is packaging its TV commercials and digital ones together for the first time ever.

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Super Bowl 50 will be a milestone for the big game, and for advertisers as well.

CBS will for the first time stream the flashy commercials that accompany the event live online, the network said today, confirming news that was first reported by Variety.

That's big news for connoisseurs of the annual Super Bowl commercial extravaganza, and for the advertising industry as well. Previously, on-air ads and live stream ads were sold separately, and advertisers weren't required to buy both. Now CBS is changing that.

The conflation of TV and online commercials could send Super Bowl ad spot prices to record highs. Variety reports that 30-second national spots could rise to $4.7 million. For the 2015 Super Bowl — broadcast by NBC — 30 seconds cost $4.5 million, but the online streaming ads were sold separately, and at a lower rate. The rates were different because NBC only had 2.5 million unique viewers online, as opposed to the 114 million that watched live on television.

However, that 2.5 million was up 9% from the 2014 Super Bowl, and was a 19% jump from 2013. And with online streaming becoming more increasingly more commonplace, it's likely to grow even larger by Super Bowl 50.

Variety reports that advertisers will not be allowed to opt out, and some — like Pepsi and Anheuser-Busch — are already committed to sponsoring the broadcast.

Brendan Klinkenberg is a tech reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.

Contact Brendan Klinkenberg at

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