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Yahoo attracts 15M viewers to first live stream NFL broadcast

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Yahoo has published the results of its first live stream NFL broadcast, Sunday’s game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills from London’s Wembley Stadium. The broadcast is part of a new deal by the NFL, allowing Yahoo to broadcast one game exclusively from the regular season.

The stream was delivered to 33.6 million devices, with 15.2 million people around the world viewing the broadcast. The average views per minute were 2.3 million, and 33 percent of the audience was watching from outside of the United States.

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Compared to regular viewing numbers, Yahoo’s view count is deceptively small. It claims 15.2 million viewers, but millions of those were viewers on the Yahoo homepage that happened to load the auto-play live stream who did not watch the entire broadcast. This is shown by the average views per minute that are 12 million lower than the overall numbers, at 2.3 million. The 2013 NFL regular season averaged 17.6 million views per game.

Yahoo also streamed the NFL broadcast on Tumblr, the microblogging service that it bought for $1.1 million in May 2013.

It is still a decent turnout for Yahoo’s first attempt at live-streaming the NFL. Plenty of Reddit fans marveled at the stream’s quality, low amount of advertising, and connected apps to keep all information updated. Not all viewers were impressed however, with some complaints of lag, blank screen, and other mobile issues.

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The partnership is rumored to be worth $20 million to the NFL, though the company has not commented on future plans for cord cutters wanting to watch live football. Yahoo seems to be the only Internet company interested in live-streaming NFL games.

NFL offers a service called Game Pass, which allows U.S. and foreign viewers to watch on-demand broadcasts of all the regular season games. Advanced tiers allow access to the playoffs and Super Bowl, alongside a cheaper tier for fans of a certain tier. The service still doesn’t allow live streams of all the games, however, making it a tough purchase for fans that want to be on top of the action.