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NFL to Stream NBC Games Live ... Which Makes ESPN, Fox and CBS Miffed

Jul 26, 2008 – 11:14 AM
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Sportz Assassin

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I have the NFL Sunday Ticket on DirecTV which allows me to watch nearly every NFL game on my laptop or PC. Of course, I must pay a gazillion dollars for the privilege.

Well, the rest of you will be able to get 17 NFL games streamed on your computers for free. The games will be from the NBC feeds which the NFL will stream live. The advertising that NBC sold will be taken out of the streaming broadcast and the NFL will re-sell ad time.
The move is significant for the NFL, as it continues to ramp up its digital offerings and open its content on more platforms. The league always has been extremely protective of its game action, doling out limited use of highlights and vigorously safeguarding the television broadcast. Two years ago the league took management of NFL.com in-house, and last year that site was the only place on the Web where users could find limited game highlights.

Now it will be interesting to see if America's most valuable television sports property, already bringing in more than $3 billion a year from its television partners, can find value on the Web without harming its lucrative TV contracts.
The NFL has actually lagged behind baseball and basketball in this regard. The league banks on its TV contracts and doesn't want to tread on those deals (word is that ESPN, CBS and Fox are a bit miffed). However, they are looking at new revenue streams and ways to get its product out to more people.

NBC is into this since they are set to stream tons of Olympics footage from Beijing next month ... and the fact that they broadcast just one game a week. CBS and Fox have many games, making the stream a bit difficult. ESPN and NFL Network aren't interested in having their games available because that's their big tickets on cable systems' plans.
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