NFL owners are looking ahead to the day when television will not be the primary video delivery system.
The National Football League is looking into the future, perhaps 2020 or 2021 when most of the league’s Sunday-playoff games-Super Bowl games will be put up for bidding. Amazon and cord cutters may be big topics of conversation in the halls of the NFL’s New York office. Cord cutters are leaving cable TV behind and taking their money with them.
Clearly there is a subscriber problem. The Walt Disney Company’s ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, lost 542,000, 552,000 and 608,000 subscribers in December. ESPN has around 87,859,000 subscribers and has lost about 12 million customers since 2011, ESPN2 may have 87,730,000 subscribers and ESPNU has dropped to 69.2 million. Those numbers and revenues continue to drop which is not good for Disney as ESPN has a large investment in the NBA and NFL. Turner is losing subscribers on both TNT and TBS and also has a large contract with the NBA. The regional networks are losing subscribers with their fees and some ad revenue, none of which is good news for sports owners and players and networks. Will Amazon come to the rescue?
The NFL is looking for new video revenue streams.