The future is now for the NFL and Yahoo.
On Sunday, the league will live-stream a game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills to a global audience, across several of the Internet company’s platforms.
“It’s a historic moment for Yahoo to actually be able to come in and bid for an NFL game and then live-stream it all around the world,” says Brian Stelter, CNN’s senior media correspondent.
The game between the Bills and Jaguars is being played in London, part of the league’s international series, which kicked off in 2007.
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“All major American sports have become more international,” according to Yahoo Sports writer Eric Adelson. “The NFL is following suit; it’s working, and I think a deal like this, a game like this in a place like this only helps it grow more.”
“There are people all around the world more and more eager to watch NFL games, and that’s why they’re playing games in London and why the NFL wants Yahoo to be streaming this in all these other countries,” says Stelter.
Hans Schroeder, the NFL’s senior vice president for media strategy and development, believes the partnership with Yahoo will help the league develop new methods of reaching its global fan base.
“This is a great opportunity for us to really innovate and try something new, distribute our content in a new way,” he says.
American football is the most popular sport in the U.S., and the NFL is the most profitable league on the planet. Its revenues are driven largely by lucrative TV contracts.
“Television is still an unbelievable platform for us, but as we look out, it’s tough to not to see the changes in the trends impacting our fans and where they’re spending their time,” says Schroeder.
“The definition of the broadcast is going to change. The NFL is smart to realize that — Yahoo already realizes that,” says Adelson. “I think people will look back on this broadcast as a ramp toward the future of how we consume sports.”