NFL Now Hoping For Big Hit On Apple Streaming Devices

With the return of the NFL through its 4-week August pre-season schedule (one of the first games of which saw the Denver Broncos defeat the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks around 6 months too late), the well-known american football league has set out to further expand their media presence, with one of the biggest commercial entity in sport attempting to do so by teaming up with one of the most commercial technological entities in the world, Apple.

nfl_now_logoAn unsettling development for anyone who fears corporate powerhouses combining, though for the parties involved it will appear on paper as a mutually beneficial deal, as NFL add their NFL Now app to iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.

The app, which had been announced for a summer release on Xbox One (amongst other platforms) prior to the Apple announcement, is to guarantee 105 hours of original content per week, alongside an already-present 400 hours’ worth of archived footage. That archive is to include ‘historical highlights’ from each of the league’s 32 franchises, as well as of every Super Bowl from 1967-2009.

Also featured will be access to the league’s ‘NFL Films’ selection, segments and features from the NFL Network, as well as live streaming of press conferences and NFL Network shows.

A headlining ability of the new service, though, appears to be the introduction of a personalization option, offering viewers the chance to have recommended videos based on their favorite players & teams, and synchronisation to their official NFL fantasy team roster in a similar manner, if they have one. The features are noted as creating a ‘customized video stream’ that evolves throughout the season, with the NFL explaining that this will occur: “…to the point where no two registered fans will have the same experience on NFL Now.”

Whilst the download and basic features of the app are free, the NFL are naturally pushing their more ‘premium’ packages, which include ‘NFL Now Plus’ for $1.99/month (or $4.99/month for non-American subscribers), bringing users instant in-game highlights, whilst select foreign viewers along with Americans will gain the added benefits of NFL Network live streaming and Sunday access to the NFL Red Zone. Whether those customers will consider it value for money remains to be seen, so will Apple become the ideal partner for the NFL to get to where they want in the streaming market?

A trailer for the NFL Now service, ahead of the 2014 season, can be seen below:

CBS Generates Record Ad Revenue For Super Bowl, Barely Breaks Even

There is little doubt that the Super Bowl does big business for nearly everyone involved, and like in years past the one who benefits the most is the network airing the big game. This year (even with the blackout), Super Bowl 47 earned CBS an estimated $240 million in ad revenue, a figure that when confirmed will set a new record according to SNL Kagan, an advertising research firm. The crazy part? CBS might only break even with that type of revenue, in fact they may have even lost money.

Superbowl-CBSAnalysts report that CBS paid about $220 million for the rights to air Super Bowl XLVII in addition to having to fork over even more cash for production costs–which for a game of this magnitude is not cheap. Networks generally break even, some have even lost money on the game itself and rely on both pre-game and post-game programs to generate enough revenue to put them in the black. In 2012 NBC earned $220 million in advertising revenue, so at least CBS has one thing going for them.

Many continue to debate if the power outage that occurred in the second half of the big game attributed to the lowest rating of the last three years, while others argue that with the Baltimore Ravens having such a large lead at the end of the first half–many simply began to tune out. Of course the San Fransisco 49ers mounted a large comeback which kept many fans glued to their TV screens throughout the highly rated fourth quarter.

Advertisers have always shown up for the big game and this year forked over an average $3.8 million per 30-second ad spot. Some companies, including Dodge RAM, ran spots upwards of 2 minutes.

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System Meant To Prevent Blackout Caused One At Super Bowl

You know it’s a bad day when the things we put in place to prevent mishaps are what cause problems down the road. Last Sunday the world witnessed the first ever blackout delayed Super Bowl in history, and while most of the viewing audience and attending crowd handled the situation well it has been a week of hell for both Superdome management and NFL officials in charge of operations of the big game.

Superbowl-blackoutThe power outage that indeed left part of the Superdome in the dark for what seemed to be an eternity was actually caused by the very device that is meant to prevent such a thing from even occurring. Entergy New Orleans, the electricity company that powers the Superdome said on Friday that it had discovered the cause of the blackout during the game. According to them an electrical relay system that was specifically put into place to prevent blackouts is what caused the power to go out Sunday night.

“While some further analysis remains, we believe we have identified and remedied the cause of the power outage and regret the interruption that occurred during what was a showcase event for the city and state,” said Charles Rice, CEO of Entergy New Orleans. Despite the power outage the game still drew record numbers in terms of television ratings and revenue brought into the city of New Orleans and surrounding communities.

This was also the second time in history that the Super Bowl could be viewed online legally and for free through both CBS.com and NFL.com. The live video stream had a reduced quality than your standard high definition television set, however, for those who could not get to a TV screen Sunday night there was the option to stream online.

More Ways To Watch The NFL This Season Than Ever Before

Those looking to get their American Football fix this upcoming season will have more ways to watch than ever before. With tablets and mobile devices now platforms that a large portion of the online audience get their fix on, television networks and even the NFL themselves are going all out this season to deliver football sports content 24/7.

Lots more options to watch NFL

Fans of the sport that own a Smart TV or an internet enhanced television set will also likely see a slew of apps that can be installed to better view their favorite teams broadcasts, even if it isn’t on Sunday’s. The sports apps that are currently available on Smart TV’s are already popular, and an NFL or American Football type app could easily surpass the popularity of those already launched.

Of course those with DirecTV have the best option available, with the big Sunday Ticket package that brings you every game with the exception of those airing in your own market. They even recently dropped the price–now down to just $199.95. Better yet, user’s can have smaller payments simply added to their bill.

However, for those who opt for the $299.95 package of the service will get access to mobile content. And not just clips. Full games can be streamed to a computer or an Apple iOS or Android supported device–including mobile phones.

You don’t even need to have DirecTV service to get access to the Sunday Ticket package, as it can be accessed for a fee through a Sony PlayStation 3.

Are you a fan of Monday Night Football? This season will be streamed live on WatchESPN.com or through a tablet device using the WatchESPN app. However, keep in mind that you will need a current cable subscription to access the content through the site or app.

For those who are too busy to watch the games on Sunday afternoon’s, fans can use the NFL Game Rewind service, which is available online and as a mobile device app. The service allows you watch any game mere hours after they have been completed and costs just $35 for the whole season.

So whether you are watching online, through a gaming console, or even via mobile apps, there are plenty of options for NFL fans to get their American football fix this season.

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