The communal aspect was still alive, though. Hay said one thing that appeared right before the 21st century was the sports bar as an option for viewers.
Recently, nearly two-thirds of avid sports fans said they caught games at bars or restaurants besides watching them on TV in their home, according to Nielsen.
Then arrives the 21st century — “when TV gets connected to the web, interactive features,” Hay said.
“Cable companies introduce on-demand options … menus of movies, TV shows. And that has just grown.”
Cable and satellite companies are not the only ones vying for viewers’ attention through on-demand options, though.
Program viewing is shifting to other devices, including tablets, smart phones and computers, according to Nielsen, a global media research company. These devices can then stream content from the Internet through a host of media outlets.
All this comes at the same time traditional TV viewing has decreased, Nielsen reports. Nielsen defines traditional TV viewing as watching live or time-shifted programming via broadcasts or paid television subscriptions.
Julie Neier, 25, is among those who have opted out of more traditional viewing.
“We had Dish Network for a few years, and in July of 2012, we cancelled it,” she said via phone interview.
Neier said her and her husband used to sleep through many programs, or they weren’t at home to watch them.
“I would watch them online afterward anyway.”
Super Bowl online
Today Neier’s husband, Teyler, 27, does not plan to tune in to the Super Bowl online as he plans to watch it afterward. For safety, he’s going to shut off his phone so he doesn’t receive any spoilers.
“(It will be) almost like watching it live but just a couple hours late,” he said.
For those planning to watch the live stream on the web, CBS Sports promises: