4 New Ways to Fuel Your NFL Addiction

By Tom Sellwood

09/09/16

“It’s the most wonderful time…Yes the most wonderful time…Oh the most wonderful time…Of the year.”

The NFL is back. The NFL regular season, that is. These days, the most popular sport in America never really goes away. The League strategically schedules major events throughout the course of the year, from the much-hyped draft in April to preseason games in August, the regular season and playoff games in the fall and winter, and the Super Bowl in early February.

Not only has the NFL penciled itself into our calendars each month, it now aims to score on all our screens. If you’re as pumped as we are for opening day on September 8, check out these new content initiatives the NFL is kicking off this season:

Snapchat
Last year, the NFL partnered with Snapchat on its Live Stories feature, which allowed fans attending games to add their photos and videos to the feed, giving an “in-game” perspective to viewers. This year, the two entities have expanded their relationship, with the NFL joining the likes of BuzzFeed, ESPN, and others as a Discover partner. This makes the NFL the first sports league with a media channel on Snapchat. The League will produce videos, photos, and analysis for its dedicated channel, while continuing to produce Live Stories. What does Snapchat get? It will sell ad slots, along with the NFL, in Discover and Live Stories, but the financial terms haven’t been revealed. Whatever the numbers are, though, you can bet that it will be lucrative for the media-sharing app.

Twitter
In a race for broadcast rights among several companies including Facebook and Amazon, Twitter agreed to pay the NFL an estimated $10 million to livestream a total of 10 Thursday night games. Now the San Francisco-based social networking service is in talks to bring its app to Apple TV, which would further expand the reach of this livestreaming deal. Viewers watching Thursday Night Football on Twitter will see about 20 ads that TV audiences won’t see, perhaps from the likes of companies like Bank of America, which has already signed on to advertise during the livestream. Twitter will broadcast its first NFL game on September 15—a matchup between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills. Not ready to watch on Twitter? Fear not, NBC and CBS will each broadcast five of the 10 Thursday Night Football games, and the NFL Network will simulcast all 10.
NFL and Content
Sling TV
Cord cutters, rejoice. Sling TV, the internet TV service owned by Dish Network, recently announced a deal that will bring the NFL Network and NFL RedZone to its channel options beginning this season. ESPN, which broadcasts Monday Night Football, is already offered on Sling TV, so, subscribers will be able to view a full slate of NFL games each week, from Thursday night to Monday night.

Uber
Okay, it’s not exactly content, but this is a pretty cool new partnership between the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and the popular ride-sharing service. Uber has secured 20 tailgate locations near the Dolphins’ newly renovated Hard Rock Stadium, starting at $250 a piece. Fans can book their rides to the stadium through the Uber app, and then get dropped off at a private tailgate location, which includes a charcoal grill, picnic table, tent, cooler with ice, and other tailgating necessities. Sounds like it will be uber-fun (…had to…). Yet to be announced is the broadcasting of NFL games in the seatback TVs of Uber’s autonomous vehicles.… Maybe next year.

New media is changing the way that we interact with and watch the NFL. It will be interesting to see how these new initiatives are received by fans this year—and not if, but how, other leagues follow suit.