Peter Kafka on the notion of the NFL testing the waters of online streaming of its games:
For argument’s sake, let’s say the Jags-Bills game goes off well, and the NFL can credibly argue that lots of people want to watch more games this way. That still doesn’t mean that will happen, because almost all of the league’s games are locked up with TV networks through 2022.
So if the NFL really wants to stream more games, it has two options: It can sell streaming rights to the handful of games it broadcasts via its NFL Network on Thursdays, which is what it’s doing for next fall’s game. Or it can take the other eight Thursday games, which CBS will broadcast next fall, and offer them up to YouTube, Facebook and other likely suspects when that deal expires at the end of 2015.
Very much a toe-dip, and will be for some time.