Category Archives: NFL

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PointsBet Adds Ex-Jets Star Darrelle Revis for New Jersey Launch

Australian sportsbook PointsBet has tabbed former New York Jets superstar Darrelle Revis to be the face of its digital platform in the U.S. PointsBet announced in July that it would enter the U.S. market in New Jersey. That product is expected to launch soon.
Revis, a four-time first-team All-Pro cornerback, also played one season apiece with the Buccaneers, Patriots, and Chiefs but starred during his eight seasons with the Jets. He will write blogs and produce videos for PointsBet that offer insights into football and betting.
ESPN initially reported the news, and Revis’ portrait is already on the company’s U.S. website. Former NBA MVP Allen Iverson is also featured on the PointsBet’s parent site and has starred in a series of ads running in certain parts of the U.S.

PointsBet will offer traditional sports betting but stands out for its trademark points betting, which adds more risk and reward to a wager. If a bettor picks the over on an NFL game with an over/under of 50 points and the final score is 30-27 (i.e., 57 points), the person would receive seven times his or her wager. The multiplier works the other way, too. A final score of 30-17 (47 total points) means he or she would lose three times the initial bet.
SportTechie Takeaway
PointsBet CEO Sam Swanell told Legal Sports Report that the U.S. market was always its long-term goal. “It was all about America,” Swanell told the website. “Australia was very much proof-of-concept for us. We always had one eye on America.” Advertising in conjunction with established domestic superstars will help with name recognition—and open a new source of revenue for retired athletes.


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Steelers Digitally Augment Terrible Towel Through Mobile App

The Terrible Towel, a longtime symbol of Pittsburgh Steelers fandom that dates back to the 1970s, is being digitally augmented through a new AR feature being added to the Steelers official mobile app.
The rally towels originally date back to the Steelers run to victory in Super Bowl X. The “Terrible Towel Wall” is a display area located inside Heinz Field was added in 2012 and showcases the most memorable Terrible Towels from Steelers’ history. Using the new app, fans attending homes games or stadium tours can now point their smartphones towards the Terrible Towel Wall to view augmented reality-enabled videos and info galleries about the history of the iconic giveaway.

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“If you come to Heinz Field you are going to see something you can’t experience from your couch watching on TV,” said Nick Sero, corporate communications manager for Heinz Field, according to The Pittsburgh Business Times.

The app was developed by YinzCam, a mobile app and analytics developer based in Pittsburgh. Additional AR features in the app that can be activated at Heinz Field include selfie filters for special events like a fan’s birthday, anniversary, or first game. “The Steelers plan to continue developing their mobile app and its in-stadium uses, likely featuring additional AR technology in the near future,” a HeinzField.com press release stated.
“More and more teams are exploring the possibilities of augmented reality through their apps, whether to entertain and engage fans, or to provide them with unique utilities to enhance the game-day experience,” added Priya Narasimhan, CEO and founder of YinzCam, per The Pittsburgh Business Times.
SportTechie Takeaway
YinzCam has built augmented reality-backed mobile apps for other professional sports teams such as the Cleveland Cavaliers and Kansas City Chiefs. The NBA bought equity in YinzCam back in 2015. While the Steelers are requiring fans to go to their home stadium to activate AR features, the Dallas Mavericks have taken a different approach by creating a mural of point guard Dennis Smith Jr. that comes to life for a virtual slam dunk behind a YMCA in downtown Dallas (developed by a collaboration with GrooveTech AR and the Spark AR Facebook platform).


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MGM GVC Interactive Partners With Sportradar on Sports Betting Data

Sportradar will be the exclusive provider of sports betting data to MGM GVC Interactive for the half-dozen leagues and federations for which it is the official provider: the NBA, the NFL, the NHL, NASCAR, FIFA, and UEFA. MGM Resorts partnered with U.K.-based betting platform GVC Holdings this summer on a joint venture in the U.S. Sportradar will provide pre-match and live betting services as well as bet stimulation content such as live match trackers.
MGM Resorts has been an active player in the U.S. market in preparation for further state-by-state legalization of sports betting. The global entertainment and gaming company was the first to partner with a major sports league on data rights when MGM became the official gaming partner of the NBA this summer. Since then, MGM has announced a similar deal with the NHL. MGM GVC Interactive was launched in July with $100 million of seed money from both companies.
“MGM and GVC are leaders in the sports betting landscape, and we are proud to be their provider for U.S. sports data,” Neale Deeley, Sportradar’s VP of gaming sales, said in a statement. “We have been preparing for the opening of the U.S. market for some time now with an across the board ramp up of our U.S. sports betting offering and we are delighted with this endorsement from MGM and GVC that all the hard work is delivering what world class betting operators are looking for.”
SportTechie Takeaway
When MGM and the NBA announced their partnership at the end of July, basketball commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged that the data feed to MGM might come via a third party. That Sportradar would be that supplier is little surprise, given the company’s existing work with the NBA, but this deal will enable MGM GVC Interactive to have access to fast, reliable data feeds in several other sports, too. The NBA and NHL deals include some of each respective league’s proprietary advanced tracking data, but Sportradar’s analysis and engagement tools will now be added to those the data feeds.


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VICIS Brings Youth Football Helmet to Market After Series B Investment From Aaron Rodgers

Football helmet technology company VICIS has completed its $28.5M Series B round of funding, which includes investment from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The company also announced the commercial availability of Zero1 Youth, its first helmet designed for youth football players.
The youth helmet maintains the same soft outer shell and protective layers engineered for VICIS’ adult helmet model, but the youth model is lighter and more compact to further protect youth football players from sustaining concussions through impact. Rodgers joins fellow NFL QBs Alex Smith and Russell Wilson as investors in VICIS. Both Smith and Wilson wear the Vicis helmet on the field. Rodgers’ investment comes via venture capital firm Rx3 Ventures.  
“We invested in VICIS because its commitment to player safety – specifically at the youth level – is one we wanted to support,” said Rodgers in a press release. “We look forward to working with VICIS as they continue to develop outstanding technologies for players at all levels.”

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While VICIS retails its Zero1 adult helmet for $950, the youth helmet will cost $495, according to TechCrunch. The helmet weighs just less than four pounds and offers the widest field of view of any kids’ helmet currently available. VICIS has now received $84 million in total investments since the Seattle-based company was founded in 2013.
SportTechie Takeaway
Separate studies conducted by the NFL/NFLPA and Virginia Tech Helmet Lab both named VICIS Zero1 as the safest football helmet available.  VICIS’ new helmet may be just as effective when worn by youth football players. But the helmet’s lofty $495 price tag may make the purchasing decision more difficult for the average American family or youth-level team. 


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Marshall Newhouse Wants to Change the Perception of What Athletes Can Be

SportTechie’s new series features the views and opinions of the athletes who use and are powered by technology.As part of this series, SportTechie talked to Marshall Newhouse about what he has learned from wearable devices, his interest in technology, and his post-NFL business plans.
To be the first to hear each athlete’s insights, subscribe to the Athletes Voice newsletter. And visit the Athletes Voice page to read the whole series.
Marshall Newhouse is a veteran offensive lineman for the Carolina Panthers, with prior stops playing for the Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals, and Green Bay Packers. He won the Super Bowl with the Packers as a rookie, and later became the team’s starting left tackle charged with protecting quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ blind side.
He studied advertising and public relations at TCU, graduating in 2010. Newhouse lists “entrepreneur” first on his Twitter profile, even ahead of “Super Bowl Champ.” He lives in Austin in the offseason, and in 2017 he joined a SXSW panel on the intersection between technology, fashion, and politics.
The Use of Wearables
“There’s a nonstop kind of assault in that area for athletes, whatever you want. Whether it’s heart monitoring, GPS, biometrics, sweat—there’s a litany of stuff. I haven’t been an early adopter for a lot of stuff. I’ve known about it, but I haven’t actually implemented it into my routine because I’m so habitual.
“Offensive line is a unique position. It’s still misunderstood by a lot of people who do football stuff for a living. That applies directly to GPS, too. We’re in a stance. Sometimes we’ve moving backwards or applying force in different ways biomechanically. Sometimes we’re moving forward pushing things or pushing other players. And sometimes we are flat-out running, but it’s not as fast or as linear as other positions, so it’s harder to track.
“What they tracked when we had it, it was just distance covered. As a lineman, if I’m covering a ton of distance, most likely I’m running a lot, and that means there’s an exponentially larger wear and tear on my body. They use that data for recovery. I’d be interested to see what Catapult’s doing as far as fine-tuning that to what a lineman does on a play-by-play basis, factoring in his weight and how much force he’s producing and how that affects how he breaks down over a practice, a game, or a season.”
Heart Rate and Sleep Monitoring
“I’ve learned how unique everyone’s body is and how it reacts to stress and stressors and how that affects your performance. When you read a chart after you’ve worn a heart-rate monitor, you realize where you’re peaking, where you’re having lulls, and where your body’s freaking out a little bit. You learn about stuff that you knew innately, but you could never really translate it into a language of sorts and a way to actually apply it.
“I’m 29 and have been playing for nine years, so there’s a lot of stuff I wish I had known when I was in college about my stamina, my explosion, my output, or even what day of the week to hit legs, or when after a hard practice to get stretched—all those little things that go into fine-tuning how an athlete performs.
“I’m a terrible sleeper, and I absolutely knew it. I had actually been tested a few times for sleep apnea, and every time they tell me that I have a mild case but not bad enough to need a CPAP machine. I have known for a decade now that I don’t sleep through the night, but eventually I hope something comes along that helps me with that. A lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m an offensive lineman and we play at an unnatural weight.”

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Origin of His Interest in Tech
“My dad’s a computer programmer, so we built PCs back in the day. Tech’s been in my blood. I used to play video games all the time, and I briefly did it for small amounts of money because I thought I was cool, not knowing that there would eventually be esports. I used to watch the old TechTV nonstop. I’ve always been interested in tech, not really thinking it could be a career choice especially because I was focused on football, but that’s always been a hobby of mine.
“I used to play a lot of CounterStrike back in junior high, high school—probably more than I needed to, if you ask my parents. Then I transitioned off that to console gaming. I’ve been wanting another [PC]. I’m waiting until I retire to get in one place and I’ll probably get back into it.”
Entrepreneurship
“Earlier in my career, I had a lot of good advice and good advisers in my life—from my parents to other people—about something as accessible as real estate. I’ve got residential properties, I’ve gotten involved in small [limited partnerships] for shopping malls, strip centers, and commercial real estate. That exposure jogs your business mind and gets you thinking on a different level about your return on your investment and about how you go into those situations.
“It’s just a constant learning process that transitions into other avenues of business, whether that’s tech, [consumer packaged goods], food and beverage, or stuff like that. That was my first foray, and I still do real estate. The goal is to have that in the background, churning and making money, eventually for my kids to take over. That was my initial interest in getting into it, especially in Texas, which is so real estate- and business-friendly.”
(Photo credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CES 2018
“I had a mentor of mine, Ryan Nece, lead me around. He runs a venture fund in Silicon Valley, and we just spent four, five days out there—going to booths, talking to start-up founders, venture CEOs, and just immersing myself as much as possible with people in that industry.
“It’s overwhelming. It’s like a flash-bang grenade of the entire industry in one place. On top of that, it’s in Las Vegas. I stayed for the first day in the health tech side, which kind of ties directly into sports and what I do on a daily basis.
“There were a bunch of virtual reality booths, augmented reality booths that, as we’re seeing, are going to revolutionize what you can accomplish in sports as far as rehab, as far as prehab, as far as taking players’ games to the next level. There was a big shift to biometrics and health monitoring. There’s a company called Orig3n—they do a lot of blood testing. They’ve got a partnership with the 49ers, I believe. “
Life After Football
“I did a week at a business summit in New York City [in February] put on by Kaleb Thornhill called Athletes Transition University. He works for the Miami Dolphins, and it’s a way to help NFL players plan for the future and plan for whatever business looks like for them, either while they’re still playing or when football’s done.
“It’s been awesome meeting other players who are doing great things in business and have high expectations for themselves – either in tech and investing like me or in different ways. From a guy like Kelvin Beachum who’s all over the place and just killing it—he’s doing an incredible job in business while also executing his day job, which is football. Or a guy like Ndamukong Suh, who’s really involved. His involvements are less public, but he’s got a lot going on behind the scenes. Then there’s a guy like Justin Forsett who’s literally got a company right now called ShowerPill, which is now sold at Target stores nationwide.
“A lot of athletes are out there doing incredible things in business, and I don’t think it gets talked about enough. These guys are pillars in the community. They’re doing amazing work in the nonprofit sector to give back while also working hard as leaders and innovators – all on top of being professional athletes. I don’t think I’m doing anything particularly unique, but I do want to be a part of changing that public perception of what athletes can do and can be.”

Marshall Newhouse reviewed this content before publication.


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Hashletes Debuts NFLPA-Licensed Fantasy Football Crypto-Collectibles App

A new fantasy football mobile app called Hashletes debuted this week. The app uses blockchain technology to verify the ownership of tradable digital collectables, which fans can purchase to build weekly lineups to compete for cash prizes.  The digital player tokens in the platform have been licensed from the NFLPA.
Hashletes launched Tuesday with 25,000 individual tokens created for all of the more than 2,000 current NFL players. Player tokens are available via packs priced between $3.99 and $4.99 and range from eight to 18 random players per-pack. Users can also buy top-tier single player tokens for $1.99. The MLBPA released its own player tokens digital collectables platform back in August, but Hashletes adds a fantasy gamification aspect to the burgeoning blockchain-powered crypto-collectable space. Hashletes is financially backed by billionaire venture capitalist Vinod Khosla.
“We curated down to four to five companies that truly met the criteria for us,” said Ricky Medina, Head of Business Development at the NFL Players Association. “Hashletes really stood out because they took a novel approach to the the layers on top of the player token. That was a real differentiator, tying it to fantasy. Other groups alluded to fantasy, but it was very much in the abstract.”

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Users can create lineups for three different game modes within Hashletes. They also own of all their player tokens and can chose to sell or trade them via the Hashletes marketplace. Offensive mode consists of a quarterback, running back, two wide receivers, one tight end, one kicker, and one FLEX option. Defensive mode lineups require 11 defensive players. There is also a franchise mode where users must enter 24-player lineups that include five offensive lineman and one punter. Hashletes has its own scoring system, which is mostly comprised of standard fantasy metrics. Eventually, Hashletes also has plans to release a multiplayer mode, where friends can combine their individual player tokens to build a team.
Similar to HQ Trivia style gameplay, Hashletes participants will compete against all signed-up users during free-to-join weekly fantasy contests and winners will evenly split from a designated prize pool. Hashletes will set a specific point marker each week and if a user reaches that point total, they’ll earn a piece of the weekly prize.This week’s Hashletes prize pool consists on $10,000.
“We are a much more casual experience compared to FanDuel or DraftKings,” said Michael Anderson, co-founder at Hashletes. “You really have to understand the complicated budget maximization [in FanDuel or DraftKings contests],” he continued. “We think we become different by creating the casual gaming experience for people like my mom, who understand a little about football but won’t understand if Tom Brady at 12,000 dollars is a good purchase or if she should go with Aaron Rodgers instead.”
Hashletes was founded this past April and reached a multi-year partnership with the NFLPA in June. The company was co-founded by Silicon Valley product designers Michael Anderson, Brennan Erbeznik, and Vance Spencer. Spencer, 27, previously worked at Netflix while Erbeznik, 26, and Anderson, 28, both worked for Snapchat. The Hashletes app is currently only available for iOS devices.
On the technical side, each player token will posses a smart contract that is viewable on the Ethereum blockchain, aiming to eliminate the threat of fraud. Anderson says the blockchain database is intentionally limited to the back-end of the Hashletes app since the technology is still a relative unknown to the average sports fan.
As part of Hashletes’ licensing deal with the NFLPA, several NFL stars will post their own player tokens across their personal social media accounts to market the app. The NFLPA and Hashletes are banking on digital player tokens gaining the same valuable collectable status among sports fans that physical trading cards and memorabilia amassed before the digital age. Anderson expects Hashletes player tokens to eventually serve as a new way for fans to connect with athletes through future-planned engagement features such as live question and answer sessions.
“Growing up we were infatuated with collectables of our favorite players and teams,” Anderson said. “In the digital ecosystem, nothing yet represents the same sort of collectability that I once had with trading cards. Our ultimate goal is to enhance the already existing relationship between fans and athletes.”


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NFL Live Viewing Increasing Faster Than Global Trend

Live streaming for NFL content is growing faster than the global trend, which is also expanding at unprecedented rates, according to a new report released by intelligence company Conviva.
Streaming has ramped up over the past year as quality and access has improved. According to the report, which covers streaming data for the third quarter, total plays climbed 49 percent over the year-earlier period while viewing time was up 54 percent.
The NFL has benefitted from a faster adoption rate as the league has worked to increase access to its content across a range of streaming locations. So far this season, NFL live viewing is up 72 percent year-over-year in plays and 83 percent in viewing hours.
This confirms the NFL’s own bullish report released earlier this month on streaming. Through week four of the 2018 season, consumption of NFL games on digital was up 65 percent from 2017, with an average audience per minute of 326,000 viewers per game across all platforms, according to the league. Growth was being driven by mobile, notably via smartphones and connected TVs, where the average audience was up 147 percent and 54 percent, respectively, compared with 2017.

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The NFL has attributed much of its success to its focus on providing a high-quality streaming experience. NFL Media’s Culver City, Calif., headquarters is staffed with nearly 100 people on game days who make sure all of the digital streams are running smoothly.
The other success driver has just been an increase in access. Prior to this season, mobile access was limited via an exclusive contract to Verizon Wireless customers. Tablet access typically required a pay-TV subscription. Now, all primetime games and Sunday afternoon local games can be viewed on any mobile device via the NFL app or Verizon’s media properties without requiring a payment or login.
Interestingly, despite the focus on live streaming for major sporting events like the World Cup, which drove a 10 percent bump in traffic during the weeks the tournament was played in the third quarter, long-form video on demand content saw the biggest gains year-over-year, according to Conviva.
Long-form content saw 111 percent and 93 percent increase in plays and viewing hours, respectively, increasing share to more than half of all global viewing Conviva measured.


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Vikings Owners Launch WISE Ventures Investment Company

Minnesota Vikings owners Mark and Zygi Wilf have formally launched WISE Ventures, a Manhattan-based investment firm. The firm seeks early investment opportunities within sports, entertainment, real estate, and technology.
Wilf Innovative Sports and Entertainment Ventures will pursue tech-related investment opportunities that include streaming media, data analytics, fitness and health technologies, gaming, and communications platforms, the firm said in a news release on Tuesday. Zygi Wilf is the principal owner of the Vikings, while younger brother Mark serves as the team’s president and co-owner.

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“We have a passion for investing in, and collaborating with, next-gen companies who are on the leading edge of ideas that can ultimately enhance people’s lives,” said Mark Wilf in a statement. “With our deep industry networks and management experience, we are able to assess, champion and add value to accelerate growth in rapidly evolving industries.”
The firm has already invested in sports technology companies such as fantasy sports content provider SportsHub Games Network and automated video highlights platform WSC Sports. A full list of WISE Ventures’ current portfolio is available on the company’s website.
SportTechie Takeaway
The Wilf family net worth stands at $5 billion according to a 2015 report of the 50 wealthiest people in New Jersey. Before purchasing the Vikings in 2005, the Wilfs originally achieved wealth through real estate company Garden Homes, which was founded by Mark and Zygi’s father in 1954. The Wilf family’s existing investment portfolio also includes stadium-tech company VenueNext. Their newly minted venture capital firm figures to establish them as prominent investors in the sports-tech space.


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NBC to Debut Field Goal Tracer in Saints-Vikings Sunday Night Football Matchup

When the New Orleans Saints visit the Minnesota Vikings this weekend, NBC Sports will debut a new “SNF Kicks Tracer.” The tracer graphic will map the flight of the football on all field goal attempts during the Sunday Night Football game, giving fans at home a clearer view than ever of the ball once it leaves a kicker’s foot.
The tracer is the latest installment in the network’s SNF Kicks technology, which NBC began rolling out a couple weeks ago when the Patriots played the Chiefs. SNF Kicks measures the trajectory and speed of the football when kicked, and includes a “good from” feature that indicates the furthest distance from which a made field goal attempt would have been successful.

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“As we continue to use the most cutting-edge technology to enhance our Sunday Night Football broadcast, we are excited to add the tracer to our coverage,” said Fred Gaudelli, executive producer of SNF, in a press release. “With many games coming down to field goals, this new element will illustrate the flight of the football, while also providing many statistics pertinent to the kicking game.”
TrackMan‘s radar system is used to detect ball movement from when the football is kicked through to when it touches the net behind the uprights. To determine the greatest distance of where a kick would be good from, TrackMan measures not only the full trajectory, but also whether the ball is hooking or slicing during flight. The good from statistic is currently available only on made field goals kicked from at least 45 yards. However, NBC has plans to expand on its Sunday Night Football usage of TrackMan technology.
“By the end of the season, we hope to be showcasing the technology on kickoffs and punts, and eventually make our way to the passing game,” Gaudelli said in the press release.
SportTechie Takeaway
TrackMan is also used to provide metrics for NBC’s Golf Channel coverage as well as MLB’s Statcast system. NBC’s latest announcement does not specify whether the TrackMan tracer will be used during live field goals or on replays, but fans will likely want live kicks to be augmented. As more kicks are recorded and sample size grows, NBC will be also able offer metrics on what makes an optimal kick—whether a certain speed is more successful in a certain wind direction or temperature, say.  


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Yahoo Sports Has Grown Into a Major NFL Streaming Player

The Yahoo Sports product team gathered in the office for each of the first three NFL Sundays this year. Together with the digital media services of its corporate owner, Verizon, Yahoo is live-streaming up to 16 NFL games per week for a mobile audience. In addition to Thursday and Monday night games, that meant long hours at headquarters on the weekend. Last Sunday, though, after three glitch-free weeks, the team’s senior director of product management, Parker Emmott, finally allowed himself to monitor the technical infrastructure from home.
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised that we’ve actually had very little to do and that we’ve actually just got to watch football,” Emmott said. Although his team has been ready for troubleshooting, Yahoo’s preparations have put them ahead of the curve.
Yahoo’s first foray into live-streaming happened in 2015, when the media company spent a reported $15 million to be the exclusive carrier of a Bills-Jaguars game in London. (The game was on linear TV only in the Buffalo and Jacksonville markets.) That pilot went well, and Yahoo repeated the endeavor for a 2017 London game.
The NFL and Verizon agreed to a five-year, $2 billion deal last December intended to boost the league’s reach, particularly among younger demographics and cord cutters. The new mobile rights deal, which began with last year’s postseason, allows all users to stream games for free even without authenticating a cable subscription. Previously, only Verizon customers had that option. The Yahoo Sports and NFL apps are carrying all games this year (although viewers will only be able to see what would normally be on in their home market).
Yahoo set records for app usage in each of the first three weeks of the NFL season, inching that mark forward by three to five percent each time, a compound rate of steady growth. (Data for Week 4 was not available at press time.) Emmott said Yahoo built an entirely in-house solution: everything from the signal input, to the live operations manager, to the encoding system, to the video player configuration.
The app adjusts its bitrate based on the complexity of what’s on the screen, feeding extra bandwidth to game action and tapering for studio talking heads. Emmott said Yahoo has been maintaining 60 frames per second of 1080 HD action with an average streaming bit rate of six megabytes per second. Adding the scalability of Verizon Digital Media Services has also enhanced the Yahoo product.
“They’re all purpose-built for one another, and when you sum-total all of the components within a video stack, that really does make a big difference,” Emmott said.
Once football fans are lured to the app for live game action, Yahoo of course wants them to stay. Its companion fantasy football app attracts about seven million users annually and is “a real foundation piece,” said Geoff Reiss, GM of Oath, the Verizon subsidiary that oversees Yahoo and AOL. Since this summer, Yahoo has added complementary programs, apps, and features.
“The video piece is phenomenal, but the idea here is, how do we start to put together an overall network approach to how we cover football and how do we take that approach for other key sports like NBA?” Reiss said.
Back on Jun. 4, Yahoo launched The Rush, a two-minute morning show that covers “the top stories in sports that a sports fan must know matched to the social and viral moments that are peaking,” said head of content Sarah Crennan. An offshoot, The Fantasy Rush, also launched closer to football season. Both are hosted and distributed by Snapchat. A third show, The Spin, offers Yahoo journalists—such as NFL writers Kimberly Martin and Terez Paylor—a video format for their work. A weekly predictions-based game, Yahoo Fantasy Slate, goes live every Wednesday.
Mostly Football also airs Thursday evenings before kickoff and stars retired tight end Martellus Bennett alongside James Davis, Ben Lyons, and fantasy expert Liz Loza. The show lasts 30 to 40 minutes with clips disseminated widely on demand and via social platforms. Mostly Football mixes deep NFL analysis with a range of activities Bennett finds interesting, from sumo wrestling to Quidditch.
“We’re really trying to cover football in a different way than it’s being done right now,” Crennan said.

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Reiss wants Yahoo to evolve along the same trajectory as the rest of the media business, if not in front of it. That means continuing to enhance these OTT streams, produce video content, build games and fantasy sports, and optimize all mobile experiences. (Interestingly, he said more fantasy football drafts have taken place on mobile devices than computers the last two years.)
And then there’s the potential to bid for broadcast rights. Just as Yahoo hosted the London games, Twitter and now Amazon have picked up Thursday Night Football rights in the U.S., and DAZN has snagged rights in other countries. The potential for a streaming partner to air games exclusively is growing. Yahoo is working on the necessary back-end infrastructure that would offer a smooth delivery of that content.
Reiss talked to SportTechie last week, before ProFootballTalk reported the possibility that the NFL would opt-out of its DirecTV Sunday Ticket agreement after the 2019 season. That could add more attractive inventory for Yahoo to snap up. But when asked about Yahoo’s future interest, Reiss was non-committal.
“I think the goal here long-term is to be able to create experiences for folks that are going to be meaningfully differentiated from what they can get from other places,” Reiss said. “From our perspective, the ability to get football regardless of your carrier, regardless of whether or not you have a cable subscription or not, and being able to take that football wherever you are is a decent starting point for that differentiation.
“We are looking to do everything we can over the course of the next couple of years, as we get into the lead-up of when the next generation of sports rights go out there, to give us some degree of optionality as to how we’re going to approach that.
“That’s not a yes, that’s not a no. Our job is to build the business and put us in position to do so if that’s something we wanted to do.”


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