Digital Video Platforms Looking At The NFL For That One Big Media Hit

Don’t scratch your head over this one: Digital media wants a piece of the NFL. Facebook, Amazon, and Verizon are all in the hunt. No doubt others as well.

Why? Seemingly for the same reasons as traditional TV players: Football games are live and immediate.

For Facebook, of course, there is also all that personal, almost real-time interaction among its users.

Unlike other media, Facebook is looking to share its spoils. Facebook would look to enter into revenue-sharing agreements with celebrities and media partners that stream on Facebook Live --  either from ads carried in the video or deals, Dan Rose, vp of partnerships for Facebook, said, speaking to Variety.

Facebook says users watch live video three times longer than recorded video.  For example, Facebook has offered up live video of Jimmy Fallon rehearsing for “The Tonight Show” and live-streaming of backstage video at the Academy Awards.



Mind you, traditional TV isn’t giving this up. CBS, which grabbed the rights to “Thursday Night Football” for the last two years -- and is sharing the next season with NBC -- is also considering making a bid for streaming rights. Its argument could be to offer up much cross-promotional inventory in helping boost the NFL even further in future years. For CBS, it also seems to be a way to boost its own digital streaming service, CBS All Access.

But you wonder what might be next for pure digital media companies. Is there a piece of the Grammys or the Oscars that could play in the coming years? Perhaps a few live showings of major TV network prime-time shows?

One thing for sure, competition will only increase for such content. Speculation has also been Netflix would enter the hunt for live sports, in keeping with its effort to become seemingly more like a new kind of broadcaster on the Internet.

For all this, TV content sellers -- the NFL and the like -- must keep asking the same question: What can you, as a media company, do to generate even more interest in our product in future years?

And, while we are at it -- thinking of the flipside -- what happens if and when those digital media companies fail to hit those goals?

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