Analyst: NFL going over-the-top is a ‘milestone event’ for streaming TV

“On Monday, the NFL announced the Oct. 25 regular season game between Jacksonville and Buffalo will be put up for bid on national digital platforms. The game is being played in London, meaning the broadcast will begin at 9:30 a.m. ET and 6:30 PT. That’s not exactly prime time for U.S. fans, or broadcast television, but it is ‘prime time’ in China, where the NFL is struggling to gain a toehold,” Aaron Task reports for Yahoo Finance. “Separately, the NFL said it’s going to drop its so-called blackout rule, which prevents local broadcasts of games if they’re not sold out 72 hours before kickoff.”

“NFL media executive Brian Rolapp said the league is ‘testing alternative ways to distribute games,’ The NYT reports, and acknowledged the obvious: ‘The world is changing very quickly,'” Task reports. “The Oct. 25 Buffalo-Jacksonville game will be the first game to be streamed live and potentially opens the door to a new era for the league, and its fans.”

Task reports, “‘It’s a milestone event when one of the premier content providers in the country, if not the world, is willing to offer a game up on streaming only, especially following HBO’s willingness to do an exclusive with Apple,’ says Walt Piecyk, a media analyst at BTIG. ‘It is just one game… but things have to start somewhere. If you have success and get good amount of users it becomes a milestone event for the credibility of streaming media.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, the cable/satellite barricade is cracking. Let’s hope Apple bursts it wide open!


    1. It’s a test. NFL has a valuable content property, and it’s dipping its toes to test the water. I for one think this is but a first step, and the London game is a good way (with a low impact if things should go wrong for any reason) to measure the market’s reaction, both domestically and abroad.

      Look for this to expand over time. Perhaps most of the public is less aware than us fanboys about cable-cutting at the moment. But over time, this will change. Once Joe Sixpack and his buddies get a clue, the move to streaming will accelerate.

  1. I have a problem streaming sporting events. There is always a 60-120 second delay between the streaming version vs the TV broadcast. That is a problem for me when I watch “live”

    1. There is a delay when you watch it on cable or Satellite also. If you want “almost” live timing listen to it on the radio.

      You could be like my rabid friend and listen to the game and watch it on TV. He is rarely invited back to parties because he’s always killing everyones buzz when he starts whooping and hollering 15-30 seconds before the rest of us see it.

      It’s a game remember.

    1. American Football is now played in over 65 countries and is on track to become an Olympic event in 8-12 years. My son played in the International Bowl this year, a game between the US National Select Team and an international all-star team (varsity-aged players). Interest is building quickly.

    1. And yet the NFL has significantly more fans and revenue than any other sports league on the planet. It doesn’t need to give away its TV rights because the game itself is exciting and attracts fans who, for whatever reason, continue to pay the NFL’s asking prices.

      One would think that an Apple fan would understand how and why premium pricing works.

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