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The most important play of the Superbowl

How did everyone miss the most important portion of the Superbowl?

Easy, the NFL only dropped a short hint about the new NFL NOW service. With all the other ads and the boring game, it was easy to miss. But do take notice, this is about to revolutionize sports and advertising.

What is NFL NOW?

NFL NOW is essentially the foundation for a truly omni-device content delivery network from the NFL. In the initial launch it will offer only clips of videos but it is easy to see where the NFL wants to take this. They want to go direct to the consumer.  This mirrors what the WWE Network is doing but does not have the clear cut billing model nor the full length content the WWE is promising.

The current marketing around the NFL NOW network is really focused on getting the avid fan highlights about their team and their fantasy players. Personally, I think the real long term value of this is being able to see out of market games on any device. Combine this with the ability to do AirPlay or ChromeCast and you suddenly don’t need the bundled cable offerings.

It also adds a whole new layer of entertainment for in-stadium viewing. Imagine being at a Seahawks stadium and watching highlights from any other team in the league.

The additional analytics and additional engagement models are enormous. The ability to cross sell other event tickets, and deliver ultra-personalized advertising really makes this network launch a massive cash machine.

This also has the potential to open up a whole new audience outside the US. However, my guess is that the NFL will keep this a US only product for the near future.

So what could go wrong? 

Given the size of the NFL, there are plenty of existing legal contracts that either have to expire or be reworked to allow for full length content to be delivered in real time. Lawyers know how much money is behind the NFL and the Cable companies, so it makes sense to draw this out as long as possible.

The other thing that could go wrong is that the NFL doesn’t make bite size content well or doesn’t leverage the true power of the mobile operating systems. For instance, if you are repurposing TV spots, the overall length maybe too long and it may not be considered exciting enough for modern consumers. Combine that with 30 second ad spots and you have a poor consumer experience.

However, if you add the ability to do slo-mo scrubbing on the phone or create instant memes, the content amplification could be huge.

NFL Now is certainly a product to keep an eye on in 2014. Seeing a major brand like the NFL go in this direction is a clear indication that 2014 is about delivering content in a whole new way.


About Krish Sailam

Krish is a writer based in the Austin, TX area that is focused on making information easier to digest. Krish's enjoys topics around education, technology, economics and online marketing.

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