Yahoo’s NFL Deal Will Put Online TV to the Test
- Ver Original
- Junho 3º, 2015
That’s because today Yahoo announced it had landed exclusive rights to broadcast the game, making it the first time a regular-season NFL game will be live-streamed for free to online viewers around the world. And that’s significant because, as we’ve said in the past, live sports remain one of the most compelling reasons for TV viewers to hold onto their cable bundles. Until now, there haven’t been many options for cable cutters to watch live games without it.
But that’s beginning to change. Last year, FIFA made headlines (for far less unpleasant reasons) when the World Cup became the most-streamed live event ever. In the wake of that success, ESPN, which has traditionally been the gatekeeper of live sports access, launched a web-only subscription service that allowed people to watch the Cricket World Cup online without a cable subscription. Meanwhile, CBS, HBO, and—starting in July—Showtime have launched standalone streaming services that include access to their own sports programming.
Still, until now, the majority of these spikes in streaming TV activity have been due to special events; not even CBS has had permission to air regular NFL games on its service. All of which makes the Yahoo deal both a watershed and a test case for how the average sports fan will respond to getting the game online.
There’s a good reason why the NFL is finally coming around to the idea of live-streamed sports, and it has a lot to do with the league’s intention of taking American football global. There’s been ongoing speculation for years that the NFL will soon have a team in London, catering to what NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has called “tremendous demand” for the sport in Europe. Regular season games have been played in London since 2007, which Goodell says was a turning point for American football’s popularity abroad. But the only way to cultivate a critical mass of fans overseas is to let them watch the game at home. And the easiest way to reach a global audience is through the World Wide Web—and specifically, through one of the world’s better known web companiens.
But Yahoo is not just any web company. It’s a company which, though struggling in other areas, already has had a strong foothold with football fans, thanks to its wildly popular Fantasy Sports product. Fans who are already checking their fantasy stats on Yahoo during a gameIt stands to reason, might also want to watch the game there, too.
Small Screen Snafus
Of course, there are plenty of reasons why they might not want to, as well. For starters, these early days of live streamed sports have seen plenty of technical snafus that have turned diehard fans off. During the 2012 Olympics, viewers experienced frequent outages of NBC’s live streams. And during this year’s NCAA Final Four basketball games, Sling TV, a live-streaming service backed by DISH Network, cracked under the pressure, causing some fans who had paid for the service to miss a crucial game between Duke and Michigan State.
Then there’s the fact the Yahoo deal will force a healthy portion of people to watch the game on the small screen, which many sports fans would consider a fate worse than death. There’s always the option, of course, to stream the game to a larger screen, using an over-the-top device like Google Chromecast or Apple TV, but penetration of these devices is still extremely low compared to the number of televisions overall.
Still, if fans do take to the idea of watching football online both at home and abroad, it will likely have ripple effects throughout the sports and web entertainment industries, encouraging Yahoo and its counterparts to dive deeper into live sports, while also nudging other sports leagues to explore alternative licensing options with online companies. And if that happens, such deals will come as another blow to traditional broadcasters, whose advertising revenue has already taken a dive thanks to the rise of streaming video.
On the other hand, if fans decide that a game watched on Yahoo isn’t worth watching, its NFL deal could further delay the ever-anticipated death of the cable. Let the games begin.
"Onde Quando e Como eu Quiser"
subscreve ✅ http://bit.ly/ONDEQUANDOCOMO