The Baumgartner jump provides clues into the Internet’s potential to replace television as the primary viewing medium for major live events. Not a single U.S. television network directly broadcast the event, although Discovery Channel (Nasdaq: DISCA) joined about 40 other networks worldwide that carried the live feed. Most interested viewers had little choice but to flock to their laptops, iPhones or iPads to catch the small bit of history that was unfolding two-dozen miles above Earth.
The live-streaming record raises questions about whether YouTube could one day compete with major broadcasters for exclusive airings of heavily watched telecasts such as the Oscars or the Super Bowl.
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