NFL to Stream A Game is a Big Deal

The National Football League is going to stream a football game next season. On face this may seem more like an experiment as the game will originate in the UK as part of the NFL's global marketing effort. But OTT delivery of sports content will mean much, much more to the league and the broadcasting world which is why new startups like client, YIPTV are poised and well positioned for a new era of how sports is broadcast.

That's why I think there's more to this, a point that is called out in the Wall Street Journal story. The "more to it" deals with the NFL looking to emulate what Major League Baseball is already doing with with their app based delivery, and really what is being done by the WWF (World Wrestling Federation) which took less money from USA Networks for the broadcast rights in exchange for creating their own WWF Network.

Already more content is being produced and viewed, plus the control of the entire telecast that the WWF produces is not regulated by the USA Networks Standards and Practices. It also means that all sponsorship and ad revenue, after selling expenses, remains with the WWF.

For the NFL and their current broadcasting partners (the networks like Direct TV, NBC, CBS, ABC/ESPN, TNT) this is a big deal because sports ad revenues and sports related advertising represents a proven advertising delivery method to reach the adult male audience. At the same time, a web or app OTT streamed telecast, completely owned and managed by the NFL means they get to keep the ad revenue vs. get paid for the games rights by one of their partners and that's where it gets very interesting.

The NFL will then know exactly who is watching the game. You may need to log in, or you may have to register the app. There will be a cookie dropped on your laptop or smart device in the browser. This means targeting advertising can be delivered to you as it becomes very easy to drop a commercial into the stream just for you vs the same commercial that's seen by everyone watching a game on television where localization is more difficult beyond the local market area vs. the national television spot.

Then there's the interactivity that you don't have with over the air or cable, which the webcasting provides. Imagine you're the ad manager for State Farm Insurance and you spend millions a year buying commercials with the NFL but you don't easily know which new customers came in as a result. Add a link, have a prospect trigger a call back from their LOCAL agent, and not only will the ad manager know which ad did what, they will know what the outcome was (call, followup, insurance policy written) and then be able to allocate the costs and the revenue to the specific commercial.

With analytics the ad manager will be able to determine which commercial spot works best with which demographic audience. The ad manager will also be able to determine which agents closed the highest percentage of leads that were delivered. With things like call recording the ad manager can then listen to the actual sales calls and analyze the selling technique, language used that led to a successful or failed close. And due to analytics, the entire process using CRM technology means from impression to closing can be tracked for ad delivery effectiveness.

This also has implications to the local teams in the NFL markets.

Right now broadcast revenues are divided evenly between each franchise, but as revenue begins to be tracked for everything sold via the NFL that happens on the Internet, the ability to assign actual revenue creation by franchise area creates a whole new model that doesn't currently exist.

Who wins? Who Loses?

The NFL and the franchise owners will be big winners over time. The more the league's NFL Properties division can control, the less money that will go to the rights holders. The more the NFL can sell in merchandise for their licensees without having to go through a retailer, means greater margins for both the league and the brands selling things like jerseys and caps for starters.

Thus while Apple, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are likely thought of as the next bidders for rights, you can't rule out Amazon either. As a matter of fact Amazon with their delivery and logistics operations could end up being the ideal partner for the NFL.

Amazon with FIRE could deliver the content easily. With FRESH the customers could order in advance their Sunday Tailgate at Home Food package. With same day delivery or next day delivery Amazon customers could order replica uniforms, caps, program books, highlight reels, etc. And because all of this is analytics based, the ability to predict and produce changes the paradigm of everything from production to delivery, thus making Amazon a significant potential partner for the NFL.

For current Internet related companies that have skin in the game like Verizon Wireless and Comcast/NBC/Universal, there has to be a lot of wonderment. Clearly they both win on the data side, but in the case of NBC, they'll lose on the ad sales side but I suspect they, being in the position they will be in, will find a way to create a sales consortium with other cable operators and the likes of Google to develop new sales and delivery traffic reporting models to insure they still make their 15 percent.

So, while this may be just one game, don't be deceived. It's a big deal and one that will be looked at as truly game changing.


AT&T-Sponsored Data-It's Nothing New, But It Could Become Very New

I find the brewing pot of noise around sponsored data that AT&T announced this week all to be a bit funny. Why? Sponsored "data" has been around for a very long time. Radio programs were sponsored as far back as the 1920s. Public television has been sponsored since the 1950.

Just as mobile data runs over licensed spectrum, so does radio and television. So the sponsoring delivery of content, whether it comes from Hollywood or Microsoft, there's really no difference. What is at stake is the past protestations of mobile operators that they need more spectrum, that they need to charge high prices to support it. Instead, there are many ways to make money and keep the cost down. Sponsored data is one of those.

For now, the sale of sponsored data is being looked at as an enterprise play. It's not. It's an advertising and marketing opportunity on so many levels. As a matter of fact, there are more marketing promotion opportunities around sponsored data than there were with television or radio.

For example, from the device in your hand, the network can now know exactly where you are when you're consuming the data. That means they can offer you more targeted "ads" or "commercials." This opens up a whole new world of broadcast promotion, the likes that are just about to be imagined.

The flip side--WiFi. It's not licensed but it is being sponsored. If you ever wondered why the cable guys are all so bullish on WiFi. It's for the same reasons. They want to sell the right to deliver the content over it.

 


The Comunicano Daily for Wednesday January 1 2014

 
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So it's a New Year and I'm still over in Portugal for another 24 hours, then over to London for some quick meetings and a flight back to the west coast just in time to head to Las Vegas for CES...So, taking a look at the stories in the news today is a heavy dose of looking back, and looking ahead and CHANGES..Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher are moving on and away from the Wall Street Journal with big news on what is next after All Things D for them so out with the old (literally) and in with the new brings former ABC Tech Star Joanna Stern over to the new WSJD and a move to the west coast...all that and more and you'll find in onl if you move .....Now On To The News.

 

 
 

 

Let's start first with a few items of note from the teams at GigaOm, TechCrunchVenture Beat and The Verge.  Chris Albrecht leads off with a few things that need a new start in 2014.

 

 
 

 
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Four tech notions that need a fresh start in 2014

The end of the year always brings out the best intentions. Out with the old bad habits, in with the new. To that end, here are some fresh starts worth embarking on January 1: The NSA/privacy: Revelations accusing the U.S.

 
 

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James Altucher, a contributor to TechCrunch, has a very powerful and moving piece all about Change. With so many people making New Year's Resolutions, it makes for a timely read.

 
 

 
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Why 2014 Is The Year You Change

Editor's note: James Altucher is an investor, programmer, author, and several-times entrepreneur. His latest book is "Choose Yourself!" (foreword by Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter). Follow James on Twitter @jaltucher. I stopped going to classes. I had a scholarship that paid all my living expenses ($1,200/month) so I didn't want to quit (ugh, and get a job?).

 
 

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It looks like ABC is making Changes on when people can watch first run programming online. Janko Roettgers at GigaOm has the details. This is very important as more and more cord and cable cutting is occuring, and the revenue models between content providers and delivery outlets will be changing. Consumers will be cutting back on their cable plans and paying for direct access. This will still mean the cable operator gets a cut, but how they do it will be hotly contested...Stay Tuned on this topic.

 
 

 
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Bad news for cord cutters: ABC starts restricting access to full TV show episodes

A A Fans of Modern Family, Scandal, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Revenge just got another item to add to their list of New Year's resolutions: find their cable account credentials. Starting on January 6, ABC will require viewers to sign in with their cable account information if they want to watch new episodes of the network's shows online the day after they air on TV.

 
 

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No end of year/start of year is ever complete without the best and worst. Oh, and of course there's always JibJab and their satire on the year i review--A MUST WATCH. But there's also a few items of note from TechCrunch, and VentureBeat that all give a good look back..

 
 

 
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The Best iOS And Android Apps Of 2013

Congratulations, Planet Earth! We made it another 365 days without crashing into the sun. Go team! It's the end of the year, and that means three things: booze, ridiculous sunglasses with numbers on them, and lists. Lots and lots of lists. You've seen our list of best/worst gadgets of the year.

 
 

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The Best And Worst Gadgets Of 2013

2013 was a heady year: a time of hope; a time for sadness; a time for twerking; and a time for doge. But it was also a time for gadgets. As we wait for 2013 to come to a close and hope for brighter things for the year to come, here's a look at the gadgets we loved, the ones we hated, and the ones that we found aesthetically offensive.

 
 

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Here’s the only list you need: All the tech, people, and products that mattered in 2013

We're not quite ready to say goodbye to 2013, but the time has come anyhow. Before it's time for Auld Lang Syne, here's a look back about the companies, products, people, and reporting we loved most in 2013.

 
 

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VentureBeat’s 12 most popular stories from 2013

As we wind down the last day of 2013, we thought it would be fun to take a look at the stories that have proved the most popular with our readers this year. It's a surprisingly diverse mix: From super-popular game franchises to really obscure indie games, from the ancient Apple vs.

 
 

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2013 was a more amazing year than you think

Vivek Wadhwa is a fellow at the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University, director of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke's engineering school and distinguished scholar at Singularity and Emory universities If you go by the headlines, the iPhone 5S and Google Glass were the big technology stories of 2013, and Twitter's IPO was the event of the year.

 
 

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Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher have left the building...But they'll be in new digs, and doing likely more to change the tech journalism world than we can imagine. Coming in to what will be called WSJD is Joanna Stern and a host of new folks who are going to have big shoes to fill. Smartly, they will take a different tact and this will only be good for the news junkies and tech hounds..

 
 

 
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You Say Goodbye and We Say Hello

This is the last day of the All Things Digital site, which began life in April of 2007 as a year-round extension of the D conference we launched in 2003. Since then, we have published nearly 40,000 posts and attracted millions of loyal readers.

 
 

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Trade Up: Ditch These Gadget Gifts Now

By Geoffrey A. Fowler and Joanna Stern Let's just clear the air as we head into 2014: In the holiday buying frenzy, you might have ended up with a few tech regrets. It's OK, Black Friday and awkward family members can do this to the best of us.

 
 

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The Verge has a very, very, very good piece on the era of the upgrade. It's a delightful and insightful read. 

 
 

 
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Welcome to the Age of the Upgrade

Everyone is an early adopter now, and it is glorious As the 1980s came to a close, a curious thing happened to American consumers: they began to really understand what the word "upgrade" meant. This realization occurred thanks to a magical fusion of technological advancement and capitalistic opportunity: the video game console.

 
 

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Search and seizure of you gadgets gets upheld when it comes to border crossing. One more reason for the cloud, cloud storage, using a browser, etc. Let them take the laptop, tablet or phone. All they'll get are the apps.

 
 

 
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District Judge Upholds Government's Right to Search Electronics at Border

The government's right to search travelers' electronic devices at the border was upheld in a ruling released by a federal judge on Tuesday, which dismissed a lawsuit challenging this policy. In his opinion, Judge Edward R.

 
 

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Sprint is making moves. The first is the desire to acquire T-Mobile. The second is to build their business business back up, using the retired but not forgotten Nextel brand.

 
 

 
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Sprint, T-Mobile Deal Moving Forward With Investor Support

Seth Fitzgerald | On 31, Dec 2013 A deal between Sprint and T-Mobile may be moving forward now that investors in the companies have given their approval. While investors may be showing their support since the deal would boost Sprint's power in the industry, any deal would still have to make it past regulators who are likely to challenge the move.

 
 

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Nextel Wants To Revive Sprint As A Business Brand, Merge Boost + Virgin Mobile Into 'Sprint Freedom'

It was only six months ago that Sprint decommissioned and shut down the Nextel iDEN push-to-talk network, and while the carrier has no plans to bring that legacy service back, the brand is another story. According to a source close to the company, Sprint wants to introduce Nextel again - as a brand for business services.

 
 

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Bitcoin is not something to think is a passing fad. It's something that will be changing how money is exchanged and already is starting to take hold. Just like PayPal changed payments, Bitcoin is starting to do the same. Chris Dixon's piece sheds lots of light on the subject.

 
 

 
 

Why I'm interested in Bitcoin by Chris Dixon

 
 

 

Some people assume that all Bitcoin advocates are motivated by a libertarian political agenda. That is certainly not my agenda. I'm a lifelong Democrat who supported Obama in the last two elections. I think the Federal Reserve plays an important function, and I don't agree with people who think inflation should be our nation's primary economic concern.

 

 
 

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LTE Advanced is something I'm starting to see as I travel. It's actually been here in Portugal for about a year. Speeds are insane. Like 150 megs mobile. And what this means is sports and entertainment will take on a whole new life on mobile.  I've gone more deeply on this with my thought on AndyAbramson.com

 
 

 
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LTE-Advanced Is the Real 4G

Have you ever called your cellphone carrier to report poor signal strength? Sure you have. And did that carrier do anything significant to fix the problem? Of course it didn't-unless you live in South Korea.

 
 

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LTE-Advanced is a Sports Programming Opportunity on Steroids

The flying P has been the Flyers' primary logo...The flying P has been the Flyers' primary logo since the beginning. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LTE Advanced is something I'm starting to see rolling out as I travel. It's actually been here in Portugal for about a year though not really named LTE-A. The speeds are insane. Something like 150 megs on mobile. So what this means to me is how sports and entertainment will take on a whole new life on mobile devices.  As someone who grew up working around the growth of PRISM in Philadelphia, where it was one of the USA's first regional sports and entertainment networks to offer cable customers home games of the Philadelphia Flyers on cable, to be able to watch first run movies without leaving their homes before HBO carried them and to see other premium content, I can see the parallels so very clearly.

We'll start  to see sports packages on your mobile devices that make MLB's At Bat seem rudimentary. This is also going to be a massive opportunity for the PayPerView business and for out of market rights and viewing. For example, Real Madrid can sell their rights to specific operators in specific markets outside of Spain. Exclusively. For the operators, they can build on fan loyalty, or better yet, Real Madrid can become a globally operating MVNO, where the money they make on the content, easily covers the cost of voice, text and data

This would also be a boom to mobile operators who would rather be infrastructure providers and pipe suppliers, letting others take on the marketing of the services, which creates a massive opportunity for a company like ITSON, who wants to change how mobile subscribers pick, buy and consume their plans and services a massive opportunity. This is why net neutrality rapidly comes to the front line, but there will be so many different business plays by the operators possible, the question will become which model will work best where.

The IEEE's Spectrum has a nice take on what the technology means as it makes you realize what's ahead for us with mobile.