SPORTEL America 2015: NFL Spotlights Wider Strategic Dimension of European Games
March 18, 2015
The NFL’s live games in London play an important part in the league’s growth plans on the other side of the world in Asia, check according to a top executive at Sportel America, viagra in Miami on Tuesday.
Mark Waller, discount the NFL’s exec VP international, said the early kick-off games at Wembley Stadium, which are first thing in the morning for U.S. fans (6 a.m. on the West Coast) open up the opportunity to reach Chinese audiences with live coverage – and that more live games on Europe are good for Asian growth.
That sort of perspective highlights the thoroughly global perspective of the league, which has unveiled a new pan-European media distribution deal with MP & Silva. The new deal marks the first-time the league has committed to a five-year deal for European territories.
Waller said free-to-air television is critical to the league in achieving its primary aim of growing the global following. “We are not about maximizing revenue internationally,” he said. “It’s about growing the fan base. We will forego foreign revenue opportunities regularly in order to do that.”
He added, “This is a long-term play. The long-term potential is huge.”
Waller said one of the NFL’s biggest challenges for international growth is exporting the NFL game-day experience. “That is the thing that differentiates us,” he said.
One of MP & Silva’s focuses will be to localize content for European markets in order to improve the at-home experience, according to Dan Cohen the company’s senior VP Americas. “We want to create an at-home experience that’s unique,” he said. This will require fashioning the product market by market.
Sportel America from March 17-19 kicked off Tuesday with over 600 delegates in attendance and a very buzzy atmosphere at the J.T. Marriott Marquis Hotel. It’s the first time the event has been held in downtown Miami and the choice appears to be a popular one.
The importance of the U.S. market is obvious for the global business. At Sportel America today, CNN and Fox Sports business analyst Richard Horrow pointed out that the aggregate value of the teams in the American big leagues currently stands at about $38 billion, while sports media rights deal are worth $60 billion.