Comcast to Stream Super Bowl Online for Free

How the nation's sixth-biggest advertiser benefits from airing the Super Bowl.

This is why big giant events like the Super Bowl mean so much to the networks that air them — and the companies that own the networks.

This year’s Super Bowl will basically be an ad for Comcast’s Xfinity cable and Internet services — the company is providing the game (and surrounding program) online for free, so that even cord-cutters on their laptops can take part in the programming smorgasboard.

Comcast is dubbing the whole thing “Super Stream Sunday.” “Consumers will be able to stream 11 continuous hours of NBC content on Super Bowl Sunday,” the company said in an announcement. “NBC live stream programming will include: Super Bowl XLIX; Super Bowl XLIX halftime show starring Katy Perry; Super Bowl XLIX pre-and-post-game shows; and the midseason debut of The Blacklist.

How does Comcast benefit? Well, aside from drawing a few more eyeballs to The Blacklist, the company also promotes its TV Everywhere concept — a cable subscription can get you live TV on your electronic devices, while “cord-cutting” services like Hulu and Netflix offer shows the next day, at the earliest, and live events are rarely available online.

On a related note: Turns out Comcast was the sixth-biggest advertiser in the United States in 2014. “Nielsen’s annual ‘Tops of Advertising’ report, released Friday, shows AT&T spent $1.1 billion on advertising in 2014, making it the fourth largest advertiser in the country,” International Business Times reports. “Comcast spent $995 million, making it the sixth-largest advertiser.”

But that may not actually be helping Comcast, which has consistently low customer satisfaction ratings. “Every time people see the logo or a campaign, people might have a nasty reaction to it because they have bad memories,” one expert told IBT.

Will a day of free football and Katy Perry help turn that around? We’ll find out next weekend.