SBD/Issue 232/Sports Media

NFL, AOL Broadband Announce New Multiyear Content Agreement

NFL@AOL To Include More NFL Content

In an extension of their existing partnership, AOL and the NFL have entered into a new multiyear agreement, under which a wide variety of NFL video and audio content will be available for the first time. NFL@AOL will bring AOL for Broadband subscribers, for no additional charge, on-demand access to video, including game-by-game previews and highlights; greatest rivalries and players packages; weekly NFL team spotlights; exclusive programming from "Inside the NFL;" AOL self expressions — in which AOL members tailor the appearance of their instant messages with the colors and logos of their favorite teams; and team and player alerts. Other features include access to the NFL Films Vault; Super Bowl highlight reels; breaking NFL news and event programming: and access to NFL "Talk Radio" and NFL Radio Classics (AOL). BLOOMBERG NEWS notes the agreement "is the latest in [AOL's] plan to offer exclusive content and features to lure subscribers. The Internet unit continues to lose subscribers as a growing number switch from [AOL] dial-up service to faster broadband connections with other companies." NFL Senior VP/New Media & Publishing Chris Russo said that the NFL "would make money by licensing the content to AOL and by increasing distribution to a wider audience of potential customers" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 8/26). NFL Network President Steve Bornstein and AOL Vice Chair and Capitals Owner Ted Leonsis are scheduled to appear on CNBC's "Closing Bell" this afternoon.

PAID CONTENT: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Russell Adams reports the NFL and RealNetworks "are making a full slate of audio and video content available on" for the '03 season. Field Pass "offers live radio broadcasts of all NFL games during the season, video highlights and previews of every game, video and audio of press conferences and other special events, and NFL Insider Radio, a weekly Webcast." Subscriptions are $34.95 for the season and $9.95 per month (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/25 issue).

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