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Locast CEO: NFL Holds The Future of Broadcast TV In Their Hands

Jason Gurwin

In 2018, 34 of Top 50 and 61 of the Top 100 telecasts were NFL games. Their domination of local TV is what gives them enormous power on the future success and value of the channels themselves. On a panel at The TV of Tomorrow (TVOT) Conference in San Francisco, Locast CEO David Goodfriend thinks that the NFL could end broadcast TV as we know it.

“They divvy up the rights. Here’s some for you broadcast. Heres some for you cable. Here’s some fo us (NFL Network). Here’s some for Amazon,” said Goodfriend. “The giant in the room is the NFL. If they don’t renew, and go to Facebook or Amazon, it would be the end of the broadcast TV.” And Goodfriend feels that this gives enormous power to one man. “There is one human being who holds the future of broadcast in their hands. That’s NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.”

Despite the fact that NFL broadcast rights expire at the end of 2022, there is no indication that the NFL has any plans to move away from broadcast TV. In fact, it’s been reported that ABC, which owns ESPN (who has rights to Monday Night Football), is looking to acquire rights to air games on their broadcast network. Currently, CBS and FOX own rights to Sunday afternoon games, while NBC owns Sunday Night Football.

Last season, the NFL started streaming local and national NFL games for free on smartphones and tablets as part of the five-year, $2 billion deal Verizon in December 2017. If you want to stream games on your streaming media player, like Apple TV or Roku, you’ll still need a Live TV Streaming Service for that.

In addition to these changes, the NFL is expected to pick a new streaming partner for NFL Sunday Ticket, so you can stream out-of-market games — even if you don’t have DirecTV. It has been rumored that both Amazon for Prime Video, and Disney for ESPN+ could be interested in the service.

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