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Volume 26 No. 231
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NFL's Brian Rolapp Intrigued By Amazon-EPL Partnership In U.K.

Rolapp said any potential NFL partner will have to be able to distribute games at a high level of quality
Photo: MARC BRYAN-BROWN
Rolapp said any potential NFL partner will have to be able to distribute games at a high level of quality
Photo: MARC BRYAN-BROWN
Rolapp said any potential NFL partner will have to be able to distribute games at a high level of quality
Photo: MARC BRYAN-BROWN

NFL Cheif Media & Business Officer Brian Rolapp said Amazon's EPL broadcasts in the U.K. "will be very interesting to watch" in the coming weeks as the league weighs its broadcast future. Rolapp: "They're getting some pretty high concurrents there." He added that production and promotion are just as important as technical capacity for an NFL rights package. Rolapp: "You're going to have to be able to produce it. You're going to have to be able to distribute it at a high level of quality -- no fan is going to accept less than HD, high-res all the time. You're going to have to sell it from an advertising standpoint and market it. So, we need to see that from any partner, and be satisfied with that before we entrust any game package to them." Rolapp also foreshadowed an easing-in approach for streamers that would avoid the biggest viewership windows. Rolapp: "Maybe these guys aren't ready for 4:25 games. Maybe there's some 1 o'clock games they're ready for. Maybe there's some early games they're ready for. We'll have to see. ... We will not sacrifice reach for something less valuable, including a higher rights fee. We will maximize our reach. We think we can get both, but the reach is really important" (Ben Fischer, SBJ Football, 12/6).

BEAR MARKET: In Chicago, Gene Farris noted Cowboys-Bears on "TNF" last week "drew 18.8 million viewers," making it the "most-watched Thursday night game this season." It was also a 69% increase over last season's Jaguars-Titans Week 14 game. That viewership number "includes all platforms that featured the game: Fox, NFL Network, Fox Deportes, NFL digital, Fox Sports digital, Amazon Prime Video, Twitch and Yahoo Sports" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 12/7). Also in Chicago, Phil Rosenthal noted the Bears' "most impressive prime-time performance of the season was their lowest-rated locally." The "TNF" game "averaged a 26.5 household rating in the Chicago television market, per Nielsen estimates." That is "roughly 863,000 households." The game "ranked sixth" out of the Bears' 13 games locally (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/7).