Yahoo to stream first-ever NFL OTT broadcast
DetailsMichelle Clancy | 04 June 2015
Much has been made about the lack of over-the-top (OTT) options for streaming American football, but Yahoo will break the seal this autumn, becoming the first to live stream an NFL game globally.
A match-up between the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars will be shown for free, on 25 October, live from London as part of the NFL's international series.
"The NFL has always been committed to being at the forefront of media innovation," said NFL commissioner Roger Goddell. "Through this partnership with Yahoo — one of the world's most recognisable digital brands — we are taking another important step in that direction as we continue to closely monitor the rapidly evolving digital media landscape."
The Bills disclosed in March that the London game would be the first to be streamed, but didn't say who would have it.
The match makes sense as a testing ground for NFL OTT because it will kick off at the off hours of 9.30am ET and 6.30am PT Sunday morning — so it's unlikely that few but hardcore Bills and Jaguar fans would watch on linear television. So streaming offers the league an additional revenue stream for an event that it knows will draw lacklustre ratings at best.
OTT streaming is something that the NFL has been considering for the 2015-16 season for some time.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said that the plan offers a "historic opportunity" that "marks a significant change in the way users can access this amazing content. The NFL and Yahoo have both long engaged football fans around the world. Our partnership provides the ultimate football experience — with digital availability, designed for the modern fan".