NFL will broadcast a game on digital platform for first time ever

NFL will broadcast a game on digital platform for first time ever

By Frank Schwab 5 hours ago

The NFL's experiment of having an early start for one of its London games worked out so well, now it's doubling down with another experiment for one of those early London games this season. And this one could be pretty big.

For the first time the NFL will have a regular-season game on a digital platform to be streamed worldwide, when the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars face off in London on Oct. 25 at 9:30 a.m. ET. The game will still be available on television in the Buffalo and Jacksonville markets, the Florida Times-Union said. But most of the world will be watching it online.

Details such as which Internet site the game will be streamed on haven't been determined yet, but it's an interesting move for the NFL. The Wall Street Journal said the game will not be on DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket, like its other out-of-market games. If the live stream is met with positive reviews, like the early start time in London was last year, it could open up another medium for the NFL to broadcast its games. And with so many people watching shows and games via mobile devices, it would seem that an online option will be widely accepted by many fans. It would also open up another revenue stream for the NFL. With so many sports broadcasts available live online, it makes sense for the NFL to follow that plan too, or at least test the waters.

There would likely be a lot to work out before the NFL could make a more aggressive move to digital platforms. One would imagine the television partners that prop up the NFL financially would be leery and DirecTV, which just agreed to an eight-year, $12 billion deal with the NFL last year, could have a lot to lose. But it's an intriguing one-game experiment by the NFL, then the league can see where it goes from there.

Depending on the NFL's long-term plan, a fairly nondescript Bills-Jaguars game could end up being historic.


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