How badly do you want to watch a regular season game between the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars? Unless you live in one of those two markets, you’ll have to scramble to your computer to find it.
The NFL announced Wednesday it had reached a streaming agreement with Yahoo to exclusively carry the Oct. 25 game outside Buffalo and Jacksonville. “The NFL has always been committed to being at the forefront of media innovation. Through this partnership with Yahoo – one of the world’s most recognizable digital brands – we are taking another important step in that direction as we continue to closely monitor the rapidly evolving digital media landscape,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.
This is far from the first football game to be streamed – hello, ESPN3 – but a live, regular-season NFL game will do more to push football online than a million MACtion games ever could.
It’s also a game that kicks at 9:30 a.m. ET between two small-market, traditionally middling franchises. Stick it on a typical Sunday afternoon and chances are it’s the least-watched NFL game of the entire season. In other words, this is the perfect opportunity for the shield to make its maiden voyage off of television.
And at a reported cost of “at least” $20 million, it’s another brilliant stroke by the league to add yet another stack of cash to its already overflowing coffers.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reported the NFL chose Yahoo because of its “global reach” – more than 1 billion people visit a Yahoo property every month – and that the league is also shopping for a social media partner to promote the game digitally.