Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) Latest Deal With NFL Could Signal That Bidders For Sports Broadcast Is Shifting To Internet Companies Like Google, Apple And Microsoft
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) announced a deal with the National Football League (NFL) to show one contest in the fall through the Internet. The participation of Yahoo in the NFL games broadcasting could trigger major changes in the television viewing industry, given that traditional TV providers have previously held the rights to air sports. Yahoo’s move to air sports could be another cord-cutting driver given that sports are one of the reasons many people have still retained their paid-TV subscription.
At first, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) will be able to show only a single NFL game this year, which means that for now the deal looks insignificant. The game to be shown by Yahoo will be a contest to be held in London and will be broadcasted at 6.30 a.m. Pacific Time. The contest will pit the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Buffalo Bills. A closer look at the fixture also shows that it doesn’t involve the famous football powerhouses and the hour of the contest isn’t prime time. But one may say that it is just the beginning of major things to come.
It seems bidding for rights to broadcast sports is shifting from traditional television to one where even Internet companies such as Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) participate.
Sport is a major driver of the paid-TV uptake and the entry of Internet companies may accelerate cord-cutting. Analysts have cited that if sports become widely available on the Internet, like Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) seems to be pushing, it could be another reason many television viewers may want to shift their viewing online.
The unique thing about Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s deal with the NFL is that the game will be streamed free and there are no video restrictions like being unable to stream the game on your big screen. Additionally, Yahoo’s airing will be available on a global scale on multiple device platforms from smartphones to connected TV’s.
Flush with cash to bid for sport rights
The other advantage that Internet companies seems to generally have in the shift of viewing to the Internet is that they have the financial resources to potentially outbid traditional TV providers in sports broadcast rights.
When it comes to audience, Internet companies boast huge numbers. Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) has more than a billion users globally and more than 55 million people in the U.S. watch videos on the Yahoo platform every month. In comparison, Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) boasts about 22 million paid-TV subscribers.
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