The first streaming only NFL regular season game drew 15.2 million unique viewers, according to Yahoo.
The NFL averages about 17.6 million viewers for Thursday Night Football on CBS and the NFL Network. It averages 13.5 million for Monday Night Football.
“It’s been a great opportunity to partner with the NFL and deliver a truly exceptional global live streaming experience for our users,” said Adam Cahan, Yahoo’s senior VP of product and engineering. “We’re seeing a dramatic shift in the industry as audiences’ primary video watching moves away from TV. We were thrilled to join the NFL in setting a new standard for sports programming for our users and advertisers.”
The game generated 33.6 million video streams, and more than 460 million total minutes of video consumed. About 33% of the audience—about 5 million viewers—were outside the U.S.
“We’re thrilled with the results of our initial step distributing an NFL game to a worldwide audience and with the work of our partner, Yahoo,” said Hans Schroeder, senior VP, media strategy, business development & sales for the NFL. “We are incredibly excited by the fact that we took a game that would have been viewed by a relatively limited television audience in the United States and by distributing it digitally were able to attract a global audience of over 15 million viewers.”
The game was also seen on TV in Buffalo and Jacksonville, the teams' home markets, and in the U.K. on Sky and BBC, as well as in China. Those viewers will be added to the game's total audience later.