Yahoo Snags NFL's First Ever Live Stream
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) scored a big Hail Mary on Wednesday.
The web giant and the National Football League announced that Yahoo will exclusively live stream the Buffalo Bills-Jacksonville Jaguars game in London on October 25.
According to a release on NFL.com, the game "will be made available across multiple properties, including Yahoo, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Screen, and Tumblr, collectively with over one billion monthly visitors. The deal represents the first time the NFL has partnered with a company to live stream a regular season game over-the-top globally."
Local TV markets in Buffalo and Jacksonville will be allowed to air the game.
Shares of Yahoo spiked sharply to $43.57 amid the news, up 1 percent.
"The largest impact will be felt on the NFL," Darren Heitner, founder of Heitner Legal and former athletic agent, told Benzinga, "which continues to demonstrate a dedication to growing the game of American football abroad. Additional coverage should equate to more eyeballs watching the product. Those figures will be used to potentially pitch networks on spending more money on future rights deals."
The NFL has major TV partnerships with CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS), Fox Sports and Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS)'s ESPN. When asked how big this deal is for Yahoo, Heitner said, "Yahoo is offering it for free across the world (as long as the ISP doesn't block it). There's never been such an opportunity for true worldwide access.
"Exclusivity comes at a price. Yahoo was willing to pay that price," he said.
Sports Business Daily reported that, "A source said that the deal involves a license fee that would match what TV networks pay for a regular season NFL game – as the NFL and Yahoo calculated "fair market value" for what one NFL game is worth, based on what CBS and Fox pay for their packages."
In the release, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is quoted as saying, "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. The NFL and Yahoo have both long engaged football fans around the world. Our partnership provides the ultimate football experience -- with digital availability, designed for the modern fan."
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