The NFL continues to embrace streaming as it furthers its attempts to reach a generation of fans who don’t necessarily tune in through traditional TV viewing. In addition to today’s news that all of the 2015 NFL postseason games will be streamed live online and on mobile, a new Reuters report has surfaced which indicates the NFL plans to live-stream all three of the games scheduled to be played in London next season, too.
As you may recall, NFL and Yahoo previously teamed up on the effort to live-stream a London game- the first time the NFL allowed a technology company to live-stream a game to viewers for free. The companies said in October that game, a match-up Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars, attracted over 15 million viewers. However, ESPN later pointed out that the 15.2 million figure referred to the total number of uniques who watched “some or all” of the game’s stream, but the average minute audience was much lower – 2.36 million worldwide, or 1.64 million in the U.S.
For comparison’s sake, around 20 million tune into afternoon games aired on CBS or FOX, while NBC’s Sunday Night Football can see as high as nearly 25 million viewers, according to Nielsen data.
Yahoo reportedly paid $20 million for the streaming rights, but ended up dropping ad prices from $200,000 to $100,000. This led to the ad slots selling out.
Despite the lower numbers, the sports organization touted the live-stream as a success and promised it would do the same thing again. In a blog post announcing the metrics last fall, the NFL said: “All these numbers boil down to one simple fact: Get ready for more streaming NFL games.”
According to the report out now from Reuters, both Apple and Google are in the running as bidders for the forthcoming live-streamed London games, which include the Indianapolis Colts versus the Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct. 2; the New York Giants versus the St Louis Rams on Oct. 23; and the Washington Redskins versus the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 30.
The report did not say how much the rights to the streams would cost, or whether or not the companies could bid on the games individually or as a package deal.
The news of the London live-streams follows on another announcement released today by the NFL which says all of the 2015 postseason games will be streamed live online and on mobile, including the 2016 Pro Bowl and Super Bowl 50. The games will be available across desktop, tablet, smartphones and connected TV platforms, like the Xbox, through NFL partners.
All the games will be available on mobile phones through the NFL Mobile from Verizon application. (Disclosure: TechCrunch parent company AOL is owned by Verizon). Live game access is available to Verizon Wireless subscribers.
Other partners, including CBS, FOX, NBC, and ESPN will offer live streams through their own platforms.
Specifically, CBS will live stream all its AFC Playoff games and its exclusive broadcast of Super Bowl 50 through CBSSports.com, as well as through CBS Sports on Xbox One, Apple TV, Roku players and TVs, Chromecast, Windows 10, iPad and Android tablets. CBS’s post-season games will be available through the NFL on Xbox One.
FOX, meanwhile, will offer NFL Playoff games through FOX Sports GO for PCs, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV, but authentication using your pay TV account info will be required. NBC’s NFL Playoff games will be available through NBC Sports Live Extra on PCs, tablets, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
ESPN and ABC’s simulcast of the Kansas City at Houston Wild Card game as well as ESPN’s telecast of the 2016 Pro Bowl will be available through WatchESPN.
In addition, international fans can watch postseason games through NFL Game Pass, the NFL’s subscription service. U.S. fans can watch all postseason games on-demand in Game Pass, the NFL says.
The NFL’s website offers details of each game’s time and streaming availability.