The NFL confirmed the details of the first global live game stream in league history Wednesday. The Week 7 clash between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills in London on Oct. 25 will be broadcast exclusively on Yahoo.
A release posted on the Jaguars' official site states the agreement covers all Yahoo properties, including Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Screen and Tumblr. It also contained comments from Commissioner Roger Goodell regarding the decision.
"The NFL has always been committed to being at the forefront of media innovation," Goodell said. "Through this partnership with Yahoo—one of the world's most recognizable digital brands—we are taking another important step in that direction as we continue to closely monitor the rapidly evolving digital media landscape."
Adam Caplan of ESPN provided further details about the event, which will be starting very early on the West Coast:
Kevin Clark of the Wall Street Journal reports longtime league partner CBS will still be behind the scenes despite the Yahoo broadcast:
Peter Kafka of Re/code notes sources say the final cost of winning the rights was unsurprisingly sky-high:
Industry executives familiar with the NFL's negotiations think Yahoo paid at least $20 million for the rights to stream the game; in return it has exclusive ad rights for the game. The league bid out the streaming rights and at least one other tech company made a very competitive offer, sources say.
The game will be an interesting test of the NFL's drawing power. The Jaguars and Bills, which own two of the league's five longest playoff droughts, certainly aren't the first pair of teams that comes to mind to showcase a new distribution avenue.
Buffalo did make some high-profile additions during the offseason in head coach Rex Ryan and running back LeSean McCoy. Perhaps if the team is able to get off to a hot start, it can help spark further interest in the Internet broadcast.
Even though the NFL is a cash cow, West Coast fans' willingness to wake up around 6 a.m. to tune in to the game will be something to watch for.
The game will still air on television in the local markets of Buffalo and Jacksonville.