NBC Sports Overhauls Website to Emphasize Live Streaming
NBC Sports Digital will stream 2,700 live events this year and another 4,000 with next year's Summer Games in Rio.
With the NFL regular season right around the corner, NBC Sports Digital is getting a new look that emphasizes the network’s live sports offerings, including its Sunday Night Football games.
The redesigned website, which will be live on Monday will more prominently feature NBC Sports' portfolio of live streamed sports events, which this year will total 2,700 including NFL games, the Stanley Cup, NASCAR, English Premiere League soccer and Golf Channel content.
The new site will have a dedicated “Watch Now” module on the left side of the screen that follows the user as they navigate through the site and makes for streamlined access to all forms of video including upcoming events (72 hours in advance) and relevant short-form content.
NBC Sports Digital (via Yahoo Sports-NBC Sports Network) is among the top destinations in sports with 52.8 million unique users in July, behind only ESPN.com (71.6 million), according to comScore. In February 2014, during the Winter Games in Sochi, the Yahoo Sports-NBC Sports Network destination ranked No. 1 among all sports sites with 63.6 million unique users and 5 billion minutes consumed, said comScore. The Games are integral to NBC Sports' digital strategy. The Live Sports Extra app was launched in 2012 in the run up to the London Summer Games (The network has locked up the Olympics through 2032.) During Olympic years, the site will stream another 4,000 events. With such marquee rights, executives are bullish on the financial potential of live streamed sports.
“We make our money from live steaming video, so it made a ton of sense to feature that,” said Rick Cordella, senior vp digital media at NBC Sports Group, stressing that mobile will only grow in importance. “There's an organic rising of the tide as people are more comfortable with video [on smaller screens]. That's where ad dollars are flowing.”
Digital inventory still contributes a modest amount in terms of advertising dollars compared to linear TV — during the London Olympics, it accounted for $60 million of the $1 billion in ad dollars spent. But it is growing. NBC Sports execs expect next summer's Rio Games to clock a 75 percent increase in inventory.
NBC Sports' redesigned site will curate short-form video content including highlight clips, original programming such as Men in Blazers and Mobsteel, NBC Sports Films content and NBC Sports and Yahoo Sports’ Mad Dash, a digital-only weekday morning video roundup of the top trending sports stories.
The site also will more prominently feature Rotoworld, the top player information destination that has become indispensable for Fantasy League players as well as the league's front offices. (Cordella, who came to NBC Sports from Rotoworld, notes that some of the site's most-trafficked periods are when fantasy sports are not being played.) Injury reports, transactions and stats will be housed in a dedicated team/player news section and integrated throughout the site.