The NFL tried a grand experiment in Week 7 of its 2015 season. With the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars set to play in London, the league broadcast that regular-season game exclusively on Yahoo, entailing the only style to watch it in the United States outside of those teams’ local markets was toto log into Yahoo and livestream it.
But this year, things are different. Though the NFL and Twitter announced last week that the social-media site would livestream 10 Thursday-night games in 2016, the three games taking place in the United Kingdom will not be part of that deal.
“When we discussed potential streaming packages with interested parties, there were many alternatives on the table, including the London games, ” an NFL spokesman told Reuters. “Ultimately the package we agreed on with Twitter involved ten of our Thursday evening games which we felt was the best alternative at that point.”
The NFL chose Twitter as its livestreaming partner over other companies like, Verizon Wireless, and Amazon. Although Yahoo reportedly paid $20 million to stream the one BillsJaguars game last year, Re/ code reported that the 10 -game 2016 slate cost Twitter less than $10 million.
Aside from some buffering hiccups, the 2015 BillsJaguars livestreaming experiment wasconsidered a success, with about 34 million people spending at least some time watching the game and with 460 million total minutes ingested.( Those numbers, though, were probably inflated, because the game automatically began playing whenever someone logged into the Yahoo page .)
Perhaps most exciting for the NFL: Yahoo used to say more than 33 percentage of spectators were watching from outside the United States, specifically from more than 185 different countries.
The NFL’s decision to use Twitter for 2016 livestreaming constructs sense, because the site boasts 800 million users internationally and because many sports fans already watch athletics and tweet at the same day.
Given that the NFL is intent on growing the sport for potential fans all over the world, the league is likely to return to livestreaming international tournaments in the future.
H/ T Awful Announcing
Photo via Pete Sheffield/ Flickr ( CC-BY-SA 2.0)