The strategists and bean counters at Comcast’s NBC must be really pleased that the network’s most reliable sports property in getting eyeballs, the NFL, returns beginning this week. NBC has the Thursday night opener; a rematch of last February’s Super Bowl between Denver and Carolina and then begins the regular Sunday night lineup with New England playing Arizona.
NBC will win the time slots which the network did during the Rio Olympics. But there will be a difference. The NFL will perform to advertiser’s expectations, the Rio Olympics did not. The NBC presentation of the Olympics under performed but the NBC did do well streaming the event. NBC also partnered with BuzzFeed in streaming video from Rio.
The NFL is dipping its toes into streaming by putting some games on twitter this year. Ten Thursday night games will be streamed live on Twitter and it appears this is the first step in trying to figure out how streaming will play a part in presenting sports events to consumers. It is not a new concept, back in 2000, Bill Futterer who was a major backer of the four team Spring Football League thought his league might be able to use in 2000 terminology the internet in getting his league off the ground.
“The Internet’s webcasting potential offers growing opportunities for startup leagues, particularly those who understand the Internet’s status and potential,” Futterer explained at the time “To simply treat the Internet as a broadcasting medium comparable to radio or television would be a mistake, since its features are so different.”
Futterer’s league folded after a few games but Futterer along with NBA Commissioner David Stern at that time understood the webcasting was going to be a significant player in sports presentations. NBC found that out during the Olympics and the NFL will soon be on twitter. Sports is about to enter a new world of video.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.