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Sunday Night Football - Live on the Internet!

by Sachin Balagopalan on July 27, 2008 · 1 comment

August is a great time of the year for a lot of Americans because the NFL football season is around the corner as teams report to training camp and the pre-season games begin the first week of August. This year if you’re a football fan there is one more thing to cheer about as the Los Angeles times is reporting that the NFL will stream live broadcasts of Sunday night football games beginning in September over the internet. OK so it’s only the Sunday night games but Al Michaels play-by-play and John Madden’s commentary streaming live on the internet is a start nonetheless.

For much of its history, the NFL has kept a tight grip on the rights to its games and the use of its images. But with more consumers, particularly younger viewers, turning to their computers for entertainment, the NFL wants to steer the nation’s most popular television sport into the digital age.

“We are taking a big leap here,” said Steve Bornstein, chief executive of the NFL Network.

“We are looking at this as a learning opportunity to see what applications work online. We are trying to be innovative and creative to make the viewing experience better for our fans.”

“Steer the nations most popular sport into the digital age” ? It’s about time if you ask me. “We’re looking at this as a learning opportunity …” C’Mon this is a no brainer - you’re giving the viewer an alternate viewing opportunity and in this day and age when most people spend quite a bit of time online it makes absolute sense. Countries like India have been streaming live cricket matches to cell phones for the last couple of years and the same with soccer in Europe. Why is it that we’re always a notch behind the rest of the world when it comes to “productizing” technology?

Until now, the NFL has proceeded cautiously into the digital world, in part to avoid antagonizing the networks that collectively pay the league $3.7 billion a year in fees for exclusive rights to carry its games.

“The NFL’s most important constituency has been the television networks, but the world is moving online,” said Bobby Tulsiani, an analyst at market research firm JupiterResearch. “They haven’t wanted people to watch games online because that could mess up their television deals. . . . This is going to get interesting as they move forward.”

It’s a double edged sword. On one hand the NFL needs these big network companies to - for lack of a better term - bank roll them but the flip side is they essentially “own” the NFL. The fundamental problem is just like the movie studios the major networks are slow in grasping and comprehending the internet and the potential opportunities it provides. And just like the music industry was a few years ago before Apple and iPod these companies are afraid of “giving up” their intellectual property. Until there is a change in the mindset of these major corporations we the American consumer will probably always be a step behind our counterparts from the rest of the world.

Go Pats! (last year never happened :) )


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

services98 10.27.09 at 12:52 am

i added this to my collge report

Thanks
gibs
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