Last week, National Football League fans heard their wind chimes flutter in a brief gust of wind. Entertainment lovers thought they felt a couple drops of rain. Tech-sector observers saw the barometer fall.
And that was it.
When the NFL announced that Yahoo had acquired global streaming rights to a single regular-season game, millions of people who love football, watch television and use the Internet didn’t even notice. Many of those who did notice didn’t care. And perhaps they were right to put it out of mind–maybe that’s the last we hear of the NFL partnering with tech companies for years to come.
Or maybe, just maybe, the deal foreshadows a coming media storm that could radically alter sports, TV and technology forever.
On-demand and live streaming server options threaten this business model by allowing viewers to cut their cable and satellite subscriptions, abandon bundled network programming and instead pay just for the shows they want to watch. And this isn’t just theoretical. Over the last half decade, members of the 18-to-34 demographic coveted by advertisers have forsaken pay TV at astonishing, accelerating rates.
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