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State of the Screens

The NFL’s Streaming Future

By January 8, 2021No Comments
2021-01-06_17-16-56

 

Big news: The NFL played its first game (49ers vs. Cardinals) where the out of market portion was only available through streaming.

Platforms included:

1) Amazon Prime Video
2) Twitch
3) NFL Mobile
4) Verizon Media

Why this matters: Streaming is the future, but live sports have shifted that way slower than scripted programming (see above), better suited for on-demand consumption.

Flashback #1: The Super Bowl Is Still TV’s Ballgame, With Streaming Far Behind

Streaming share of total Super Bowl viewership by year:
1) 2012 – 0.3%
2) 2013 – 0.5%
3) 2014 – 0.5%
4) 2015 – 0.9%
5) 2016 – 1.3%
6) 2017 – 1.5%
7) 2018 – 1.9%
8) 2019 – 2.6%
9) 2020 – 3.4%

Big question: Was this a success?

Quick answer: It depends on the benchmark.

NFL viewership head to head:

1) NFL average (2020) – ≈ 15.0M
2) NFL Network only (2020) – 5.6M
3) SF vs. ARI (2020) streaming-only – 4.8M
4) Super Bowl (2020) streaming-only – 3.4M

Flashback #2: Networks Win Big With NFL Return

2020 NFL media rights (% of total) according to Variety:
1) Monday Night Football (ESPN) – $1.9B (25%)
2) NFL Sunday Ticket (AT&T) – $1.5B (20%)
3) NFC Sunday afternoon (Fox) – $1.1B (14%)
4) AFC Sunday afternoon (CBS) – $1.0B (13%)
5) Sunday Night Football (NBC) – $950M (12%)
6) Thursday Night Football (Fox) – $660M (9%)
7) Digital and Streaming – $570M (7%)

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Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.

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