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Yahoo: 15.2 Million Unique Viewers for Live Stream NFL Game in London

26 Oct, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

London's Wembley Stadium

Yahoo Oct. 26 announced 15.2 million viewers live-streamed portions of the Oct. 25 NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars from London’s Wembley Stadium, generating 33.6 million total views.

The game, which the Jaguars won 34-31, was the first NFL game available only via streaming (without a pay-TV subscription), with exception of local TV broadcasts in the Buffalo, N.Y., and Jacksonville, Fla., markets.

Yahoo, which reportedly paid the NFL $20 million for the rights, said a third of the streaming audience was foreign. The game was available online in 185 countries.

The game represented an average audience-per-minute of 2.36 million globally (1.64 million domestically). By comparison, NFL afternoon games on Fox or CBS average around 20 million viewers-per-minute, while NBC Sunday Night Football attracts 24 million, according to Nielsen.

Yahoo, under the direction of CEO Marissa Meyers, has ventured into original programming, which, unlike Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video, includes sports.

“We’re seeing a dramatic shift in the industry as audiences’ primary video watching moves away from TV. We were thrilled to join the NFL in setting a new standard for sports programming for our users and advertisers,” Adam Cahan, SVP of product and engineering at Yahoo, said in a statement.

Yahoo said the game attracted twice the average audience (7.9 million) on TBS for Major League Baseball's National League Championship Series between the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets; and more unique online viewers than the 2014 Germany-Argentina World Cup soccer final (1.8 million). That match was broadcast globally on ESPN.

"We took a game that would have been viewed by a relatively limited television audience in the United States and by distributing it digitally were able to attract a global audience," said NFL SVP Hans Schroeder.

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