In the United States, Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest holiday of the sports year. Watching it is easy. You just get together with your fellow fan friends at whomever's home has the biggest HDTV and bring out the beer and chips. But, if you can't get to a TV, or if you're out of the country, you can still watch the National Football League's championship over the Internet.
If you're living in the States, or Mexico, all you need to do is watch NBC's live stream of the game on the NBC Sports Web site. You'll also be able to view the same stream on the NFL's NFL.com or SuperBowl.com.
If you're in Canada and you don't have a TV at hand, you can watch the game online at CTV... if you have a TV subscription that includes CTV.
Like CTV, to watch important live sports on NBC Sports you need to have a basic cable or satellite subscription. What's that? You watch NBC or CTV over the air (OTA)? That won't cut it. But, for the Super Bowl, you can watch the whole game without proving you're paying to watch NBC. Canadian viewers aren't so lucky. They'll need to prove they pay to watch CTV or they won't be able to watch the game over the Internet.
In addition to the game, US viewers will also get NBC's pre-game coverage, which starts at noon Eastern time, the halftime show featuring Katy Perry, post-game coverage, and the first 2015 episode of NBC's popular crime drama The Blacklist.
You will also be able to watch the game from your tablet with the NBC Sports Live Extra app on iPads and iPod Touch devices and Android tablets. However, NBC doesn't have the right to live stream the game to smartphones.
Who does? That would be Verizon. To watch the big game with your Verizon Android, Blackberry, iPhone, or Windows Phone, you need to have Verzion's More Everything Plan. Don't have that plan? Well, you can still watch it if you pay for a $5 premium subscription within Verizon's NFL Mobile app.
You should keep in mind two important factors if you're forced to use a smartphone to watch the game. First, it's going to take up gigabytes of your data. Second, it's going to eat your battery alive. I doubt very much, for example, that most smartphones will be able to stream the game before dying from battery exhaustion.
Say you're not in the United States or Mexico, what then? Well, you can still get the game by subscribing to NFL Game Pass. That will cost you $9.99.
You may also be able to watch the game live even if you're in a country where they think "football" is a game played with a whitish round ball, instead of a possibly deflated brown prolate spheroid made from cowhide. In the United Kingdom, for example, you can watch the game on Sky Sports 2 or the BBC Channel 4. To check if there's a live broadcast in your country check the NFL Foreign Language Broadcast page.
If you're not in the US or Mexico and you can't find the game on local television, you have one last option: Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to make it appear as if you're in the US so you can stream the NBC broadcast. These services cost from $5 to $20 a month. I've found that the following VPNs work well: Invisible Browsing VPN, Banana VPN, BlackLogic, StrongVPN, and ZenMate. Most of these will work with Macs and Linux and Windows PCs, and some also offer tablet and smartphone services.
Is it worth subscribing to a VPN to just watch the game? Only you can answer that, but if you like to watch TV that's not available in your country, these VPNs are very handy.
Finally, if it's Sunday afternoon, and you're looking desperately for another way to watch the game, you may be tempted by sites that promise you can watch the game for free or for a modest fee in exchange for your credit-card numbers. Or, all you need to do is to download a special application. Don't do it. Maybe you'll be able to see the game, maybe you won't, but I know you're going to lose your credit card in the first case and you'll end up with malware in the second one.