Sunday morning’s matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills in London was the first free global live stream of an NFL game by Yahoo!. Peter King of Sports Illustrated reported that Yahoo! recorded 33.6 million video streams and 15.2 unique viewers. Over 5 million of the views came from outside of the United States, King reports.
The Sports Business Journal reported that Yahoo! had promised advertisers at least 3.5 million U.S. streams. Ultimately, Yahoo! surpassed that prediction, bringing in around 10 million U.S. streams. Those numbers suggest that this method of online streaming through Yahoo! could be used more in the future.
“The league’s experiment with Yahoo! proved that streaming could be used as a main distribution method for more games and for higher-profile time slots,” NFL senior vice president Hans Schroeder said, according to the Associated Press. Schroeder also added that NFL officials were pleased with the overall quality of the stream.
Viewer satisfaction varied, but Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated reported that most people appeared pleased with their streaming experiences. Some viewers did express dissatisfaction with issues such as buffering, pixelation and lagging.
Despite general satisfaction from the NFL and many viewers, John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal reported that the stream pulled a 1.64 million average minute audience in the U.S. According to Ourand, the previous low for a national U.S. game was 1.9 million for a game on the NFL Network.
The NFL and CBS currently have a one-year contract for Thursday Night Football. Schroeder said the league will consider whether this type of online-only streaming could be used as an option for part of that package.
- Xandria James