Sunday is the big game. Super Bowl LII. Wouldn't it be nice to be able watch it online?
While there are a few ways to stream the Super Bowl online (most notably, the NBC Sports app), there are lots of people right now scouring the search engines for the answer to the question "How Do I Watch The Super Bowl Online?"
While they'll be pointed to some legitimate sources, there are also unfortunately lots of less-than-legal scams online that promise to give you access to watching the Super Bowl. Although most of them appear to have been designed and written by a drunken team of highly trained chimps, lots of people are going to fall for these scams. Let's take a look at one of them, which I found being promoted in lots of comment sections today on any news story that even tangentially mentions the Super Bowl.
SuperBowlOnline.net is noteworthy because just the domain name alone is a copyright violation. At least, I'm assuming they didn't negotiate a deal with the NFL to use the name. You might also be surprised to learn the domain was created in 2016 and is registered to a guy living in Pakistan. And he's not just interested in American football. No, he owns and operates similar web sites offering fans the dubious opportunity to watch live NASCAR, Formula 1, Rugby and even MotoGP.
Obviously SuperBowlOnline.net is a scam. And I say that not just because it has the date of the Super Bowl listed incorrectly. But let's see what information it's trying to get from visitors hoping to watch some football.
If you click the "Watch Now" link, you'll be sent to a page asking you to register. So hey, let's be helpful and do that:
Before you can complete your registration, you must read and accept the website's agreement. Luckily, you're not asked to be able to understand the agreement, which appears to have been written by someone with just a modest grasp of the English language:
So if you agree to the terms, you are not surprisingly asked for credit card information. And you are also asked to choose a subscription length, the shortest which is four months for $25. Which seems a bit excessive for an event that only lasts a few hours.
I am a bit curious to see what happens when you subscribe and then attempt to watch the game live on Sunday. But I'm not $25 curious, so I'm just going to warn everyone again that every major sporting event brings out the online scammers and crooks. Don't let them trick you.
I did reach to the site's domain registrar GoDaddy and the site's hosting provider Sobee to ask about their policy towards web sites which are obviously a scam as well as a copyright violation. So far, I've received no response.