NFL To Block Mobile Video Streaming During Big Game

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(CNN) — Smartphone usage has skyrocketed at sporting events, as anyone who’s attended a recent game can tell you. Look around the stands and you’ll see fans checking stats, sharing pictures on social media, or just killing time between plays.

While stadiums have boosted cellular and Wi-Fi infrastructure to keep fans connected during games, there’s always the possibility that there won’t be enough bandwidth for everyone. That’s why on Super Bowl Sunday, the NFL is planning to block live streams of the game inside the stadium.

Super Bowl XLVIII, between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, will be streamed by NFL.com and Fox Sports, but both of those sources will be blocked on the Wi-Fi and cellular networks at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, NFL CIO Michelle McKenna-Doyle told Ars in a phone interview. The NFL.com and Fox Sports blocks will be implemented both for mobile apps and within Web browsers.

The decision stems from last year’s Super Bowl, when streaming was initially allowed but eventually blocked when it took up too much bandwidth.

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