Thursday, September 25, 2008

500K Users Watch Sunday Night NFL Games Streamed Online

The NFL, for the first time in the USA, is streaming games live online. So far, NFL senior vice president Brian Rolapp says, traffic is steadily building. Rolapp declines to cite exact usage figures but says NBC's four games drew more than 500,000 separate online users — NBC drew about 22.2 million TV viewers for the Dallas Cowboys-Green Bay Packers game on Sunday — and the number of average users has increased 33% since the opener. Not surprisingly, users hang around awhile — averaging 45 minutes of video streaming a game. Leagues and networks have worried live online events might undercut their TV coverage. But Rolapp says online games aren't "cannibalistic" and, in focus groups, "no one is telling us it's a substitute for television." And while online coverage offers four continuous camera angles that differ from TV, he says, the "clear favorite" online isn't any of those new shots — it's the regular TV feed.

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