NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters on Friday that the league is looking at streaming its first-ever regular season game. “We are aggressively pursuing the streaming of a regular season game with our first over-the-top telecast,” said the commissioner during his annual State of the League address that’s part of Super Bowl week.
He continued that any OTT telecast would be carried on the local broadcast stations in the competing teams’ markets, but would “reach a worldwide audience including millions of homes that do not have traditional TV service.”
While live sports has largely been immune to the rise of digital and streaming options for viewers, sports outlets have begun to dip their toes in the OTT waters. ESPN was among the networks to launch on Dish’s SlingTV service and both NBA and MLB have heavily invested in in-market streaming of local games.
“We will continue to develop new platforms,” said Goodell. “How our fans, especially our younger ones, connect with the game is changing everyday.”
Regarding the New England Patriots’ “Deflategate” scandal, Goodell said the league and independent investigator Ted Wells — who conducted the investigation into the league’s handling of the Ray Rice scandal — were conducing a “thorough and objective” investigation.
"I want to emphasize we have made no judgments on these points, and we will not compromise the investigation by engaging in speculation," continued Goodell.
The embattled commissioner spent much of the time during his annual press conference defending his and the league’s numerous missteps this season, most notably on the subject of domestic violence. As in previous public forums (though it wasn’t as harsh as the last time he spoke publicly), Goodell did not offer much outside of vague statements that he and league have “learned a lot” about the issue.