The great American game of football may be played overseas a few times next season, but that doesn’t mean that dedicated stateside fans won’t be watching. For all you pigskin fanatics, we have great news for you — the NFL will be livestreaming all three games slated to take place in London this upcoming season, and Apple and Google are in the running to host said streams.
While it is still unclear as to whether the games, which will all be played in October, will be streamed by the same company, it looks as though viewers will be able to see them regardless. Last year, Yahoo won the exclusive rights to a London game, and even though the stream took place early in the morning on American time, the company found that they still managed to rake in 15.2 million viewers worldwide. In fact, at any given time, 2.36 million viewers were tuned in, and unsurprisingly, around two-thirds of the viewers were within the U.S.
While these numbers are still considerably smaller than the draw for the televised games hosted on CBS and NBC (which attract some 20 million U.S. viewers per minute, as per Nielsen TV data), live streaming is steadily becoming a more popular viewing method, especially considering it’s, you know, free.
Neither Apple nor Google have ever streamed such an event, though it could be a lucrative ad selling opportunity. Yahoo managed to sell its commercial slots for $100,000, and all were snatched up. But prices this year may increase as the format becomes more enticing to a growing number of viewers.
“Professional sports content is among the most premium content you can find,” said Tom Richardson, a sports media professor at Columbia University and the president of consulting firm Convergence Sports & Media. And as an increasing number of tech companies attempt to find their way into media, Richardson sees a burgeoning opportunity for the athletic industry.
So while we can’t tell you exactly where to tune in yet, just know that the Colts vs. Jaguars game on October 2, the Giants vs. Rams game on October 23, and the Redskins vs. Bengals game on October 30 will all be available for your viewing pleasure.