Too Big to Fail
The NFL doesn’t need any effn help from you or me. They are a multi-billion dollar industry, and in a moment of honesty, is bigger than GOD in America.
So why the disclaimer? The NFL just missed a really good opportunity to maximize their brand exposure. To bolster all things NFL, it had reserved the broadcast rights to Thursday Night games for itself in order make the NFL Network somewhat relevant. Fast-forward, and the NFL finally decided the money was worth more than the network – it sold 8 games of this package to CBS for $200 M (yes million), and, as a bonus, picked up the expert team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms to take-over for their own putrid announcers. Clearly they view this as a win-win from a scale and operational perspective, but it fails to really grow the brand.
Here’s my $0.48 on the deal…NFL should have partnered with Google to broadcast these games. Now I know what you’re thinking, Google doesn’t have a TV distribution network, and you’d be right. But let’s be honest, it’s 2014, who uses TV to get all of their entertainment and content these days (shout out to those still watching re-runs of L&O on TNT)? We all know this is the future, so why not use the NFL as a big carrot for those hesitating on cutting the cord?
First, Google has the $$ to afford this package. Second, Google has a ready-made infrastructure via its Chrome Cast devices (and Android OS) that would make distribution seamless. For those not familiar with Chrome Cast, please take a look at this Link. Imagine if the NFL’s App (which currently streams only on Verizon devices) were available on any wireless platform AND your TV….that could exponentially increase the number of people watching the games on a Thursday, and in turn, increase the NFL’s revenue (the app might be free, but using it requires a subscription). Google would not only see a bump in sales of Chrome Cast devices (another Apple TV takedown) but could gain more exposure of its Google+ and Google Hangouts social media platforms by using it as the broadcaster’s medium and as a platform for direct fan interaction. Peyton Manning could host a Hangout where fans could ask questions; analysts could break things down in a less scripted fashion, and fans could interact with each other during the game. This is where Sports and News in the next century will blossom…Streaming Content Interaction. Yahoo has figured this out, but hasn’t exactly executed it well yet. Google / NFL – are you up for the challenge?