NFL considers more live streaming

Jed York, chief executive of NFL American football franchise the San Francisco 49ers, has confirmed the league is investigating the possibility of expanding the number of games that are streamed live next season following the success of last month’s inaugural initiative with internet company Yahoo.

The NFL reported that more than 15.2m unique viewers tuned in for the first global free-to-view live stream of a regular-season game on October 25. The Buffalo Bills v Jacksonville Jaguars International Series game at London’s Wembley Stadium was streamed live on Yahoo and online blogging website Tumblr.

More than 460m minutes of the game were streamed, with 33 per cent of the streams coming from outside the US. Viewers from a total of 185 countries watched the action. The game attracted an average audience of 2.36m viewers.

Speaking to the website, York, a member of the NFL’s eight-person digital media committee, said he and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell held talks last week with a number of Silicon Valley executives in the wake of last month’s maiden venture.

“Roger and I met with multiple executives,” York said. “We’re certainly looking at the success we had with the OTT (live streaming) game with Yahoo and how we can expand on that for a larger package for the 2016 season.”

An NFL spokesman said the league is in the process of analysing the results of Yahoo’s live global stream and no decision has been made for the future.