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Volume 21 No. 17
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Pats dial up a media network that others will follow

One of the most impressive sites I saw all week in Minneapolis was what the New England Patriots did around their Not Done Network, a streaming network that launched the week of the game and was the first NFL team-specific streaming service for a Super Bowl team. Every team will study this for the future, and a number of team executives praised the concept and its execution.

 

On the third floor at the Mall of America near radio row, the Patriots built a dedicated studio and hospitality area to shoot and share live programming. It was situated next to the team’s hotel at the JW Marriott and was a meeting space for fans and visitors, complete with couches and games. The team brought on sportscasters Molly McGrath and Jay Crawford to anchor, and featured 12 hours of live programming a day, generally from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with historical documentaries and other shows filling the remaining daypart.

I took in a lot of the programming, which included daily interviews with team executives, ownership, media and former players, press conferences and event footage. It was strong content sent directly to the team’s fans, and compelling programming for partners and sponsors to be around. While the investment was not cheap, I found it to be a progressive idea that other teams will explore in the future.

Much like what Ted Leonsis is doing at Monumental Sports Network, teams as fully operational media companies delivering 24/7 original and highlight programming over the top to their fans is here to stay — becoming a bigger and bigger priority for the smartest organizations.