Super Bowl XLVIII: commercials, football, and a Times Square spectacle

Gallery Photo: Super Bowl XLVIII Boulevard in Times Square

Super Bowl XLVIII pits Richard Sherman and the Seattle Seahawks against Peyton Manning's Denvor Broncos. But this year the hosting venue may be just as important as the teams on the field. Football's biggest extravaganza is taking place at MetLife Stadium, and the NFL has invaded New York City in celebration. Manhattan's Times Square has been converted into Super Bowl Boulevard, a corporate spectacle that offers fans free games, food, and even a glance at the Vince Lombardi trophy. You can track all the latest Super Bowl XLVIII news, learn how to stream the game live on your smartphone, and see the best commercials right here at The Verge.

23 updates and 1704 comments below.

Feb 05 10:18a

Red Hot Chili Peppers explain why they faked Super Bowl performance

Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea has posted an open letter confirming that the band largely faked its Super Bowl halftime show performance. The Chili Peppers joined Bruno Mars on stage to play their '90s staple "Give It Away," but viewers quickly noticed that both the guitar and bass were completely unplugged. In his letter, Flea revealed that only the vocals from singer Anthony Kiedis were performed live. "It was made clear to us that the vocals would be live, but the bass, drums, and...

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Feb 03 11:24p

Super Bowl broadcast was most-viewed US sports livestream ever

Fox Sports says its livestream of Super Bowl XLVIII, between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, was the most-viewed livestream of a single sporting event in the United States in history. The internet broadcast — the third time the Super Bowl has been streamed live by a major network — attracted an average audience of 528,000 viewers per minute.

Fox says the number of viewers per minute was an increase of 4 percent over the average audience of 508,000 that watched 2013's game on...

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Jerry Seinfeld's reunion with George was TiVo's most re-watched Super Bowl commercial

Now that the Super Bowl XLVIII is in the books, it's time to crown the other victors from last night's competition — TiVo has just released a report that pulls together the most re-watched commercials from the night. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a clip of the Jerry Seinfeld / Jason Alexander episode of Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee web series, which aired during halftime, ranked number one. This was probably the most public stage in which Seinfeld, Alexander, and Wayne Knight as...

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9/11 conspiracy theorist snuck past Super Bowl security to interrupt postgame show

The NFL's layers of security at Super Bowl XLVIII proved vulnerable to an expired festival pass and some social engineering. During MVP Malcolm Smith's postgame appearance, independent journalist and conspiracy theorist Matthew Mills rushed the stage and grabbed the microphone, exhorting viewers to investigate the truth about 9/11. Mills wasn't just hijacking a press conference, though: he had infiltrated a stadium that law enforcement hoped would be all but impenetrable. Before the event, p...

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Feb 02 9:37p

Fox teases Jack Bauer's return with '24: Live Another Day' Super Bowl ads

24 is coming back in May, four years after the conclusion of its eighth and "final" season. During tonight's Super Bowl, Fox aired several teasers for the upcoming 12-episode run. The "limited television event" — which is titled Live Another Day — is a major break from 24's traditional format. Each episode will still represent an hour in real time, but fans can expect the show to jump forward in time between episodes. Kiefer Sutherland is reprising his role as the incomparable Jack Bauer, and...

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Jerry Seinfeld reunites with George Costanza in Super Bowl ad

Jerry Seinfeld made good on the rampant speculation surrounding his and Jason Alexander's appearance at Tom's Restaurant by running an ad for his Crackle series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee during the Super Bowl. The ad featured Seinfeld and Alexander filling their classic roles from the '90s TV series, bantering like Jerry and George and, well, drinking coffee. Even Wayne Knight made an appearance, reprising his role as Newman for what was probably the best bit in the spot.


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The first trailer for 'Transformers: Age of Extinction' stars the Dinobots

The first trailer for the upcoming Transformers: Age of Extinction aired tonight, and it was as explosion-heavy as any Michael Bay film before it. The fourth entry in the series is the first without Shia LaBeouf, starring Mark Wahlberg and an entirely new cast. It already looks like the Dinobots will be prominent, so that's at least one reason to look forward to it when it hits theaters on June 27th. Because that's Optimus Prime riding a dinosaur if you missed it.


U2's new song 'Invisible' is free on iTunes for 24 hours in support of Red charity

For one day only, U2 is giving away its latest song for free on iTunes. "Invisible" was featured in a Super Bowl commercial that also welcomed Bank of America to the Red HIV/AIDS charity — a cause close to Bono's heart. For every download of the track, Bank of America will donate $1 to Red and the fight against AIDS. The song will be available for free until 11:59PM EST on Monday. U2's next album — the band's first since 2009's No Line on The Horizon — is expected to see release this spring....

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Radioshack's Super Bowl ad raids the '80s with Hulk Hogan, Alf, Chucky, and more

In a similar vein as Delta's recent in-flight safety video, electronics retailer Radioshack plumbs the depths of 1980s nostalgia for its Super Bowl spot. If you grew up in the era of Kid 'n Play, Chucky, and Twisted Sister — or you're just a fan — you'll love this one.

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Beats Music taps Ellen DeGeneres (and bears) for Super Bowl spot

Coming off a rocky launch, Beats Music is spending big to get the word out today with a Super Bowl ad featuring popular television personality Ellen DeGeneres dancing with bears. It's a modern take on the Goldilocks tale, where Ellen finally finds her mix using Beats' "Sentence" feature, effectively a Mad Libs for finding music you might like. The ad is co-branded with AT&T, which is offering Beats on customers' lines for $14.99 per month for up to five users on a family plan.

See the full...

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The Winter Soldier takes center stage in new Captain America trailer

With Captain America: The Winter Soldier due out in a matter of months, it's only right that Marvel Studios release something huge for the Super Bowl. And... they did. The new trailer for the film expands on everything from the last one, and really shows the Winter Soldier as more than a match for Steve Rogers. Even Nick Fury, who's usually one step ahead of most enemies, looks a little worse for the wear after being attacked by the assassin. The movie lands on April 4th.

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Kia's 'Matrix' Super Bowl ad has us asking for the blue pill

"Take the blue key, go back to the luxury you know. You take the red key, and you'll never look at luxury the same again."

The next thing you know, Morpheus is inexplicably in the back seat of a Kia, singing Puccini's "Turandot" and ruining college-aged memories of the transformational sci-fi thriller that blew your mind out of your skull.

There is something uniquely disheartening about Morpheus running his hand over the plush leather and telling you that "this is what [luxury] feels like."...

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Feb 01 4:18p

Microsoft’s Super Bowl ad reminds the world why its software matters

Microsoft is airing its first national Super Bowl advert on Sunday. While the software giant has been busy backing the Seattle Seahawks, it has also found the time to create a series of "empowering" videos that mark a fresh marketing approach for the company. It’s easy to think of Microsoft as a corporate giant that has missed mobile and tablets, but the reality is that millions of people still rely on its vast array of software products for their daily work. That’s the message that Microsoft...

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This random guy gets the night of his life in Bud Light's insane Super Bowl ad

The flood gates are just starting to open, as new Super Bowl ads are already trickling in. Budweiser and Bud Light both tend to swing for the fences with their ads, whether its with sheer star power or just the heartrending use of Fleetwood Mac. This year doesn't look any different — here, a random guy gets scooped up and taken on an incredible night involving llamas and Arnold Schwarzenegger. As far as we're concerned, it's already a contender for strangest ad of the game.

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Super Bowl ads come to the iPhone thanks to Apple's iBeacon

There will be no shortage of outrageous Super Bowl ads on TV and the internet this weekend – as has been the case for the past decade. But this year, iPhone owners in the host borough of East Rutherford, New Jersey, and those in nearby New York City will be part of a whole new advertising playing field: pop-up alerts enabled by Apple's iBeacon software, as the New York Times reports.


Tim Tebow can't find work in the NFL so he made these ads for T-Mobile

For its first ever Super Bowl ad campaign, T-Mobile recruited quarterback Tim Tebow to demonstrate just how marvelous life can be when you're contract-free. Of course, in the case of the former NFL star, his freedom comes largely thanks to a lack of interest from professional teams after his career sputtered out in recent years. "Everyone thinks I want a contract," Tebow says in one of the three spots. "But without one, I've done so much this year." Viewers are then treated to a firsthand...

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Jan 28 3:06p

Fox Sports will see the Super Bowl like the Predator

This Sunday's Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos will be different than previous matches. Fox Sports recently announced that it will film the Super Bowl with infrared cameras, showing viewers players' body temperatures along with in-game stats. But the network admits it's not really sure what audiences will really get out of the experience.

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NFL will block streaming video inside Super Bowl stadium

To ensure that Super Bowl attendees can smoothly post Facebook status updates, tweets, and send texts during the big game, the NFL plans to block streaming video from NFL.com inside MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Video from Fox Sports, which is also live streaming Super Bowl XLVIII, will be blocked both over Wi-Fi and on cellular networks. The NFL and wireless carriers have invested heavily to brace MetLife Stadium for the impending influx of data-hungry smartphones, but league executives...

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Jan 25 11:35a

New York City police install 200 security cameras to guard against Super Bowl terrorism

New York City police commissioner Ray "Get Used to It" Kelly is out of office, but the department's zeal for surveillance persists. Police have installed 200 temporary security cameras around midtown Manhattan in order to guard against terrorism during the city's Super Bowl activities, reports the Associated Press.

The department has plenty of experience with events that draw large crowds, including New Year's Eve in the same area. Police used a similar strategy during the New York City...

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Jan 23 10:18a

How to watch Super Bowl XLVIII online

Two years ago, the NFL started letting viewers watch the Super Bowl online, even if they didn't have a TV subscription or antenna to lean on. When Super Bowl XLVIII rolls around on February 2nd, the small but growing sliver of people who depend on streaming to watch the big game won't be disappointed. If you're not already watching on TV or with a service like Aereo, Fox Sports will be offering free English- and Spanish-language streaming of the entire Super Bowl, including pre- and post-game...

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Jan 17 4:40a

YouTube starts airing 2014 Super Bowl commercials ahead of the game

This year’s Super Bowl might not take place until February 2nd, but that’s not stopping some ads from running early. While Super Bowl advertisers have traditionally surprised the millions of people who tune in for some American football, teasers for television commercials have started going online ahead of the big game in recent years. Today, YouTube is launching its first pregame gallery that currently includes seven teasers for some high-profile commercials that will be broadcast during the...

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Jan 13 6:31p

Morpheus jacks into the Matrix to shill for Kia in upcoming Super Bowl ad

Kia has enlisted Laurence Fishburne to reprise the role of Morpheus in its upcoming Super Bowl ad. The ad is meant to promote the new K900 luxury sedan, and will reportedly force viewers to ask what is real in the world of luxury.

According to plot details released by Kia, a couple will find themselves face-to-face with Morpheus at a valet stand, where the cyberpunk prophet will present them with two keys — all reminiscent of the character's classic "red pill / blue pill" scene wherein he...

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Jan 06 6:41a

H&M Super Bowl commercial will let you buy Beckham's clothes through your Samsung TV

American owners of Samsung Smart TVs will be able to use their TV remotes to buy David Beckham's clothes during the Super Bowl. Clothing retailer H&M will run a 30-second commercial for the soccer star's Bodywear spring collection during FOX's telecast of Super Bowl XLVIII, in which viewers with compatible TVs will be able to purchase items through their television using a "t-commerce platform."

That platform is provided by Delivery Agent, a "market leader in turning TV viewers into revenue...

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