NFL, Yahoo Team Up for First Free Live-Stream of Regular-Season Game

NFL, Yahoo Free Live-Stream of Regular-Season

The National Football League inked a deal with Yahoo to be the league’s exclusive partner to deliver the first-ever live stream of a regular-season NFL game — for free over the Internet — to users worldwide.

Under the pact, Yahoo will provide live streaming video of the NFL’s International Series game in London on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015, between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars. The Internet-media company will offer the game on multiple properties and devices, including Yahoo, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Screen and Tumblr, which collectively reach about 1 billion users per month.

The London matchup has lower value for TV networks, given that it will air starting at 9:30 a.m. ET. Still, the move marks a new step for the NFL in finding digital distribution partners for its most-valuable content — live games.

The NFL has, through broadcasting partners including NBC and Fox, offered the Super Bowl free to Internet users in the U.S. But the Yahoo pact is the first regular-season game to be available to a national audience on a digital platform. The league began shopping the rights to the game to Internet companies in February and reached out to players including Google, Apple and Amazon before clinching the deal with Yahoo, Sports Business Journal reported.

“Through this partnership with Yahoo — one of the world’s most recognizable digital brands — we are taking another important step in that direction as we continue to closely monitor the rapidly evolving digital media landscape,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer added, “We’re thrilled that the NFL has chosen Yahoo for this historic opportunity. It marks a significant change in the way users can access this amazing content.”

Meanwhile, the NFL will make the Bills-Jaguars game available in the teams’ local markets via CBS affiliates, televising it in Buffalo on WIVB-TV and in Jacksonville, Fla., on WTEV-TV.

For Yahoo, the NFL pact is part of its three-pronged video strategy revolving around live events, long-form original series and shortform content pegged to its digital magazines.

On the live front, Yahoo announced a deal for a live electronic-music competition series with Simon Cowell (“The X Factor”) serving as executive producer as well as plans for “Superfan Live,” a series of aftershows pegged to popular TV series, at its Digital Content NewFront presentation in April. Yahoo also has deals to live-stream concert video with Live Nation and several music festivals.

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  1. Jay Riccio says:

    where do i go to live stream the nfl games via yahoo?

  2. Fisher says:

    Yahoo live NFL streaming a joke. Very poor video quality and constant buffering

  3. Truth Teller says:

    That’s exactly right, but the Yahoo stream will likely appear in far higher quality and not have pop ads and other annoyances the stream sites do.

    If the NFL wants to make real money offer every game in streaming format for a season fee under $100.

  4. Dunstan says:

    Perhaps Yahoo is unaware that anyone with an internet connection is capable of watching almost every single sports event online FOR FREE. So when the NFL airs some game on CBS, NBC of Fox that I couldn’t care less about, I simply jump online and watch the game(s) I’m really interested in.

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