The NFL’s coverage of games in the United States has been the best in the sport, with some of the best live-streaming content ever.
But as more and more fans turn to streaming, the broadcast industry has been forced to look at what its future holds.
“We’ve got to make sure that we have enough resources to continue to grow our live-tv business,” NFL VP of Programming Jim Donovan told reporters.
“We’ve had some success, but the growth we’ve seen in the live-TV business is not sustainable.
We have to make it sustainable.”
While the NFL has a history of covering big events, Donovan acknowledged that the sport is not as big as other sports.
For example, the Super Bowl in January drew a record 16.3 million viewers.
In 2016, that was down from an average of 20 million people per game, according to Nielsen.
And while the NFL is still one of the top-grossing leagues in the world, Donovan said the industry is not on the same level as other media companies.
“It’s not the top five,” he said.
“It’s the bottom five.
It’s not even the top two.
And it’s not a lot.”
For example, while the MLB is in the midst of its own year-long broadcast war with Turner, the NBA is not far behind.
Turner’s coverage has been consistently stellar, but it has struggled to keep viewers in the house.
“If you look at the NBA, you’ll see that the numbers are pretty good.
But the NBA has had a couple of issues.
We’re seeing a lot of slowdowns,” Donovan said.
For example: in the first week of the 2017-18 season, the average NBA game drew a little over 11 million viewers, compared to an average 11.5 million for the MLB.
That is down from a peak of 17.5 in 2017.
The NBA’s live streaming service, NBA Live, was a big part of that decline.
But in a way, that has been part of the reason that the NBA and Turner’s partnership has been successful, Donovan noted.
“I think that there’s a lot more attention being paid to the NBA because of how good of a deal it is,” Donovan added.