New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said the future of NFL broadcasts is in “over the top” deals like the livestreaming agreement the NFL signed with Amazon this spring.
Amazon will charge advertisers $2.8 million for an “OTT” ad package around its 10 Thursday night games, Reuters revealed on Thursday. Amazon paid $50 million for the non-exclusive rights to NFL games starting this season, nudging aside Twitter, which had paid $10 million to stream Thursday night NFL games last season.
“There has been a dramatic shift,” Kraft said at Cannes Lions, speaking as part of an interview with WPP Group CEO Martin Sorrell. “This year we’re with Amazon and for us the future is OTT.”
Kraft continued: “We’ll be very interested to see how Amazon goes as it’s behind the paywall. The thing we have to be careful of is millennials. They don’t watch TV, they don’t have TVs or subscribe to cable. So we have to bring that audience in. Partly it’s done through fantasy games and linking to that. Over-the-top is a great opportunity.”
Amazon will air the games to members of its $99-a-year subscription service, Amazon Prime Video.
Kraft said he would also like to see the NFL expand internationally, a goal that the league has yet to fully realize, he noted.
“Now we play four games a year in London and sell tickets to 80,000 people and we’re going to have a team in London,” Kraft said. “We’re playing the Raiders in Mexico and have plans to play in Germany, Canada and Brazil and China. I don’t know why not France?”
“There was something like 1.8 million watching live just on digital platforms, not even on TV” – Delia Bushell, managing director of BT TV
“Streaming live sports via YouTube, Facebook, instagram is the way of the future and it’s here now. Look at what’s happened at ESPN.com they didn’t get on the bandwagon right away and people are cutting the cord via cable… what we’re gonna do in the future is going to be amazing because everything’s going in a virtual world, and we can get things out really quickly to a wide audience.” – Robert Henderson
“It is clear that Twitter’s future will be far beyond its 140-character limitation. Video will be and must be an integral part of its existence. Its potential to seamlessly integrate live video with discussion and debate will be an essential part of its future success. Twitter gives companies the opportunity to gain access to a global, and in some instances, mass niche audience, something that television broadcasts cannot do.” – Marc C-Scott, May 15, 2017