Over the past few years, the NFL has made available via non-traditional formats live regular-season games. DirectTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket is available on the Internet, and NBC’s Emmy-nominated (but possibly due to the live chat feature not Emmy-winning) Sunday Night Football Extra has provided viewers the ability to watch the prime-time game from four different camera angles over the past two seasons. Also, NFL Network’s games have been available for multiple years via cellular device.
Not everyone thinks that’s a great idea. FOX Sports president Ed Goren recently said that the practice could “narrow profits — both for the league and the networks,” according to MediaPost.com (via SportsBusiness Daily).
“At some point, they’re going to kill the golden goose,” Goren
said. Though he believes that “multiplatform maneuvers by the NFL are ‘not an issue’
now,” he cautioned that, if the NFL and other sports leagues “continue to look
beyond the traditional set,” Fox “will be more reticent to pay billions
in rights fees to the three.”
Bottom line? “Our ratings will go down, our ad
sales will go down and the leagues can find another sucker,” Goren said.
Though much of it may simply be posturing in advance of the next round of broadcast-rights negotiations, with all packages available as of 2014, it’s an issue that won’t be going away, especially as the manner in which fans consume video content continues to change, almost on a daily basis.