NFL to give live-streaming a try out this fall

Written by  on July 20, 2015 

ET. That partnership was also recently extended through 2022 in a deal worth $12 billion over eight years — an average of $1.5 billion per year. The week 7 game will take place at London’s Wembley Stadium and will be broadcast at 9:30 a.m.

So far, the only distributors for national games had been television networks. But speculation has increased over the past couple years that a streaming service, such as Netflix (NFLX, Tech30), YouTube, Hulu, Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) or Apple (AAPL, Tech30), could one day bid to broadcast a slate of games. Disney’s (DIS) Watch ESPN app also allows users to watch live tennis matches, golf tournaments and college football and basketball games.

For the first time in the NFL’s history, the league will broadcast a live game online on Oct. and 4:30 p.m.

But in the United States, the NFL is the crown jewel. The Jaguars were one of the worst teams in the league last year, and the Bills haven’t made the playoffs in 15 years — the longest active streak in the league.

If the NFL is going to test something radical, it picked the right game. More than 2 million DirecTV customers subscribed to its NFL Sunday Ticket package last season, paying between $200 and $300.

Related: NFL drops TV blackout rule

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CNNMoney (New York) March 24, 2015: 2:15 PM ET

. NBC has the rights to Sunday night games while ESPN airs “Monday Night Football” and both of those deals are also tied up for the next seven seasons.

The NFL has yet to name the online service that will stream the Bills-Jaguars game, but one likely suitor is YouTube. Sports bars won’t exactly be filled to capacity then, and ratings will likely be lower than the typical 1 p.m.

Fox (FOXA) and CBS (CBS) have agreements to air Sunday games through 2022. Unless you live in the Buffalo or Jacksonville areas, the only way to watch the game will be to stream it. CBS’ Thursday Night Football deal could be up soon: The network renewed its contract for the 2015 season, and the league has the option of renewing again in 2016. The NFL broadcasts eight Thursday night games a year on its own NFL Network, and CBS has the right to the other eight games.

DirecTV (DTV) currently has the exclusive broadcast rights for a package that lets fans watch any NFL game they want on Sundays. Google (GOOGL, Tech30) executives met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in 2013 to discuss carrying live NFL games on YouTube, according to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy. As a growing (mostly young) population opts out of cable and satellite TV subscriptions, the NFL is undoubtedly looking for ways to reach that audience too. That means DirecTV pays the NFL at least double what it brings in from its subscribers. The NFL hasn’t committed to any online streaming broadcasts other than this one game. 25.

The games most likely to be in play for a possible streaming license is Thursday Night Football.

Currently, professional baseball, hockey and basketball games are available on various streaming services.

But DirecTV could serve as a cautionary tale for streaming services looking to seek broadcasting rights: The satellite provider is likely losing money on its NFL deal. Sunday games.

If the streaming experiment is a success, it could eventually lead to a broader online deal.

This live stream is just an “experiment,” McCarthy said

Max Lyons

Max Lyons

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Max Lyons

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