Watching the NFL as an Online Fan Isn’t Easy

By Andy Thwaite Sep 20, 2017

Watching the NFL as an Online Fan Isn’t Easy

With a new NFL season upon us, and with more TV viewership declines for the NFL expected, the online NFL viewer is becoming more and more important. But, with the way their rights deals are structured and exploited by their media partners, watching the NFL online is a challenge. Nscreenmedia did a good job recently, in this article summarizing the issues faced by an online NFL fan.

Why it’s important?

This situation is a great example of old media rights models getting in the way of how fans want to consume live sports today. As a TV fan you wouldn’t expect to have to buy two cable services to watch, or not be able to watch at all, but as an online NFL fan this is a reality. You need to hope 1) your virtual MVPD provider (e.g., the new YouTube TV service) has a deal with your local affiliate, 2) you are a Verizon mobile subscriber and 3) you are an Amazon Prime member.

For rightsholders, being able to protect their current TV rights money while better serving their critical OTT audience will define their success in the years to come.


digital media esports fan engagement OTT premium video social media streaming technology activation


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Andy Thwaite

About the Author

Andy is vice president, digital strategy of ESP Properties. He is an experienced sports marketing and media executive, delivering business growth for leading rightsholders, media organizations and brands. Working at the intersection of sports, media and technology, Andy brings unique insights from his experience at the world’s largest seller (IMG) and buyer (WPP) of sport, along with commercial roles at PBR and Turner Sports.



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