NFL breaks new ground with streaming initiative

The NFL will experiment with streaming live coverage of the American football league via online platforms on a global basis next season.

At the NFL owners’ annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona it was revealed that the October 25 game between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars in London will be available to stream for free worldwide via the website. The match-up will also be shown on free-to-air television in the Buffalo and Jacksonville markets.

“We’re testing alternative ways to distribute games,” Brian Rolapp, the executive vice-president of media at the NFL, told the New York Times newspaper. “If the world ever changes, we want to be prepared.”

The NFL is still seeking an internet distributor, which would probably keep the advertising revenue from the coverage, Rolapp said. It is unclear when and how the streaming initiative will be expanded beyond the October 25 game, he added.

The game will mark the first time that the NFL has used a distributor other than a television network for a national game.