The NFL has had a long and incredibly profitable (mutually so) relationship with television but it looks like even that won’t stop the NFL from embracing modern entertainment. Embrace may not be the best word, more like dabble. Even so, it’s a step forward, and when the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars face off in week 7 in London, it will be the first NFL game in history to be broadcast exclusively through the Internet.
The NFL has announced that it will air a football game this upcoming season only via the internet and not on television as it has always done, reports The Wall Street Journal. When the Jacksonville Jaguars square off against the Buffalo Bills in Week 7 in London, the game will air only via the Web at 9:30 a.m. eastern time. The rights to its digital distribution are yet to be sold, but it’s likely that one of the major players in Web video, like YouTube or Facebook, will snap it up. The game won’t be available on DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket service, which airs all games across the country. However, it will be broadcast locally on over-the-air networks in Jacksonville and Buffalo. It’s an interesting play for the league, and marks a shift in the way sports media is distributed. With more internet-based alternatives to cable like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue entering the arena, watching live games online might soon become the norm.