For first time, online viewers won't miss Super Bowl TV ads, under new ad-sale policy from CBS

Technology Associated Press

Next year, you won't have to worry about missing the buzziest commercials of the Super Bowl if you can't get to a TV.

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In the past, not all advertisers bought online time along with a pricy 30-second spot during the most-watched TV event of the year. That meant online viewers had to go to a Super Bowl ad repository, such as Hulu and YouTube, to watch what they missed on TV. Broadcasters sometimes ran substitute ads online instead.

This time, CBS says it's making all advertisers buy an online spot with their on-air time, so ads seen during the online simulcast will be the same as the ones on TV.

CBS is broadcasting the next Super Bowl, which will be held in Santa Clara, California, on Feb. 7. It's not known whether this policy will continue after that, as CBS rotates the broadcast with Fox and NBC.

The Super Bowl is one of the rare times people watch ads rather than avoid them, as marketers try to reach more than 110 million Americans at once with ads designed to shock or make us laugh. During this year's game, 30-second ads were selling for $4.5 million. CBS is aiming to increase that to $4.7 million, not including what they can get for online playback. CBS wouldn't say how much it gets for online.

As with previous years, the online version will have a slight delay because of the time it takes for the broadcast signal to get converted into computer bits and travel to your device. So when you hear laughter or cheering in the next room, you might want to check your phone, tablet or laptop to watch it when the online video catches up.

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And if you're watching these ads in the loo, don't forget to wash your hands.