Yahoo Boasts 33.6M Streams of NFL Game, But That Doesn't Tell the Whole Story

Josh WolfordTechnology

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Football center ready to snap ball

According to Yahoo, its livestream of the Buffalo Bills / Jacksonville Jaguars London contest was a smashing success.

Yahoo says the livestream, which was the first of its kind for the NFL, snagged 33.6 million total streams.

Here's are all the data points, via Yahoo:

- We saw 33.6M streams of the game and over 15.2M unique viewers tuned in for one of the largest live streamed sporting events in history.
- Football fans streamed over 460 million total minutes of the game across devices.
- 33% of those streams came in internationally, across 185 countries worldwide.
- More than 30 top brands partnered with Yahoo to kick off this new era of sports programming, making this a sold out event.
- We performed a technical first with rebuffering ratio of nearly 1%, while delivering over 8.5 petabytes to end users.

“We’re thrilled with the results of our initial step distributing an NFL game to a worldwide audience and with the work of our partner, Yahoo,” said Hans Schroeder, senior vp, media strategy, business development & sales for the NFL. “We are incredibly excited by the fact that we took a game that would have been viewed by a relatively limited television audience in the United States, and by distributing it digitally were able to attract a global audience of over 15 million viewers.”

Sounds good. 15.2 million unique viewers is a hell of a number. But how popular was Yahoo's livestream, really? Could it really have been more popular than previous World Series?

The short answer - no.

All a person had to do was stream the game for a few seconds for Yahoo to count it as a stream. When you think about it that way, a "stream" doesn't sound all that impressive.

It's probably more informative to look at another figure, the per-minute viewership. For Yahoo's Bills / Jags stream, the average viewers per minute was about 2.36 million.

For comparison, NFL games on TV average 10 to 20 million viewers per minute.

And Yahoo also forced its stream to a lot of people. Any logged-in Yahoo user saw the game begin to autoplay.

Also, this:

Long story short, it was definitely a successful venture for Yahoo. Getting an average of 2.36 million eyes per minute on an internet-only 9:30am London game between the Bills and Jags is admirable.

It would be interesting to see what the streaming numbers would have been for, let's say, a Sunday night game between the Giants and the Steelers. But that's not going to happen anytime soon.

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf