Farmer tweeted last night, “Roger Goodell was in SF today meeting with Yahoo execs, others about potential for adding over-the-top streaming to Thursday game package.”
The tweet (as is the nature of tweeting) is low on details of what kind of package has been discussed. Yahoo does have a channel available on the Roku (add via your console from the channel store), whether this package would be free or premium content is unknown.
Yahoo streamed an early Sunday Bills-Jaguars game this year and the estimated number of streamers ranged from 2 million to 15 million depending on whose calculations you believed. Either way it seems Yahoo and NFL liked what they saw in terms of numbers.
The major sport leagues have been slow to adopt to the coming wave of OTT cord cutters, with the exception of the WWE (yes, I know it’s not a “real” sport), leagues have been slow to adopt an all out streaming service that doesn’t require some sort of cable/satellite authentication. WWE has by the way has experienced the highest revenue ever by adding a streaming channel in addition to broadcast rights.
In the end the meeting with Yahoo could even be a ploy by the NFL to get more money out of the tv networks. One of the biggest known roadblocks to cord cutting for many is lack of live major sport league options via OTT streaming devices. A Yahoo deal would presumably not require a cable authentication, so streaming rights would definitely be something the existing networks would want to bid on.
Do you think the NFL is serious about over the top streaming? Comment below.