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Super Bowl shows how Internet is not just the medium for entertainment video, but is entertainment itself
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Market Snapshot
Wednesday, 10 February 2016 08:52

We have been writing for some time about the Internet's metamorphosis from a research network to an email and information service to what is rapidly become the world's primary medium for entertainment.  In the US, for example, many major cable television operators now have more broadband subscribers than television subscribers, as more and more of the population chooses to get its video entertainment from the Internet.  This is not just a trend in developed economies, but is seen in the developing world as well.  Facebook recently reported that 88% of Nigerians watch videos on their mobile broadband devices at least monthly.

Here is a recent bit of information that also demonstrates the Internet’s use as a source of entertainment, as well as the scale of the data (mostly video) being sent across it.  At the Super Bowl last weekend, AT&T reports that fans at the stadium in Santa Clara used more than 5.2 Terabytes, setting a new mobile data usage record for any championship sporting event or football game on AT&T’s network.

The carrier reported that total data usage from the network serving the stadium and surrounding tailgate party areas was equal to more than 15 million super selfies. Sunday night’s data traffic was about 205% greater than what was experienced at Super Bowl last year. At kickoff alone, we saw more than 202 Gigabytes of data cross its network.

But here is the real mind-blowing number. Mobile traffic from event-related activities taking place Saturday 1/30 through Sunday 2/7 in the Bay Area, including fan fests, concerts, the game and more, totaled more than 28.4 Terabytes. That is equal to 81 million social media posts with photos.

While little of this traffic ended up on submarine cables, it illustrates once again how the Internet and entertainment is becoming synonymous.  In the case of the Super Bowl, fans at one of the most popular entertainment events in the world were spending almost as much time creating their own entertainment by sending pictures and videos to each other as they were watching the game.