NFL boosts online presence, renews RR Media deal

The National Football League is getting more responsive to fans' demands for online video options: the organization is rolling all of its subscription offerings, including NFL Now, into a single $99 Domestic NFL Game Pass for U.S. viewers. And internationally, the league renewed its deal with multiscreen delivery provider RR Media to deliver games via Internet, fiber and satellite to several countries.

In the U.S., the updated Game Pass will offer several features including the subscription portion of NFL Now and its NFL Films and long-form content; NFL Game Rewind, Audio Pass and Preseason Live, according to Adweek. NFL Now's free, ad-supported version will shift to become part of NFL Mobile, rather than a standalone app.

Part of the reason for the retooling of NFL Now is confusion about where free content from the league is available. Making that free content desirable is another issue; live content is more popular with online viewers, NFL executives told Adweek, while non-live highlights are available on multiple platforms.

Internationally, RR Media has renewed its agreement with the NFL to distribute its pre-season, regular season and playoff games, both live and non-live, into several regions including Asia, Europe and South America. The company will manage and deliver between eight and 12 games per week, and handle the localization requirements of each region.

For the NFL, the provider's international service infrastructure allows it to continue expanding its reach in several countries. "We can charter new territories with RR Media as our trusted service provider. This will drive the growth potential of the NFL further in other areas of the world outside of the US," said Jeff Lombardi, the NFL's senior director of international operations.

Expect the NFL to continue increasing its online presence overall: The organization has already contracted with Yahoo to stream an October Jacksonville Jaguars-Buffalo Bills game exclusively online, and CBS will stream two regular-season games this year as well.

For more:
- see the RR Media release
- see this Adweek article

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