Content moves: NFL and Amazon launch new series, while Showtime targets binge watchers

The NFL is taking its presence a bit further into the OTT world, this time announcing a new original series that will debut this summer on Amazon Prime Instant Video. The factual series, titled All or Nothing: A Season With The Arizona Cardinals, documents the NFL team's behind the scenes activity during the 2015 season.

This is yet another move by the National Football League to figure out where it fits, exactly, in the online video industry. The NFL has tried out a number of strategies so far, such as licensing an exclusive live stream of a regular-season game by Yahoo. The league also has its own dedicated website with live and on-demand content and sports coverage.

In the meantime, premium channel Showtime is continuing to bulk up its online presence. In addition to differentiating itself from HBO Now by partnering with Hulu and Amazon to offer discounted add-on subscriptions to their viewers, the network is making its content more accessible to OTT viewers. This week, it said that the full season of Andrew Dice Clay's comedy series Dice will be available to binge watch on its Showtime Anytime OTT service, as well as its authenticated Showtime On Demand TV Everywhere component.

While the binge-watching addition itself isn't huge news, Showtime's over-the-top maneuvers have investors watching closely. Showtime is part of CBS Corp., whose network was the first to go all-in on SVOD with the launch of CBS All Access.

An Evercore analyst report on CBS' recent investor day reiterated its long-term estimate of the company's stock, maintaining a "Buy" rating with a price target of $60. That was partly based on CBS' sunny forecast on Showtime's incremental revenue: $400 million by 2020, with 4 million subscribers bringing in an average of $8.25 per month. That is about half of the total $800 million that CBS expects to rake in over the next four years from both All Access and Showtime alone -- making a better, binge-able experience for online viewers that much more important in order to meet its predictions.

For more:
- see this Multichannel News article
- see this Variety article

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