EARTH --- It was the big question going into the Jaguars and Bills game broadcast exclusively on Yahoo! Sunday morning, the first time an NFL game has been broadcast solely on-line.
How many people would watch?
It looks like the answer is yes. Yahoo! and the NFL announced Monday the Jaguars and Bills game played in London with a 9:30 AM eastern time kickoff garnered 33.6 million total views, with 15.2 million unique visitors.
To put that into perspective, the 15.2 million unique visitors is a little less than the average Thursday Night Football Game (17.6 million viewers, simulcast on network and cable TV) but more than the average Monday Night Football Game (13.5 million viewers, on cable TV).
"We are incredibly excited by the fact we took a game that would have been viewed by a relatively limited television audience in the United States and by distributing it digitally were able to attract a global audience of over 15 million viewers," NFL senior vice president Hans Schroeder said.
Sunday's audience was almost twice the size of the average audience (7.9 million) that TBS attracted for last week's NLCS between the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets, two teams from two of the top three largest markets in the country.
Yahoo! has to be pleased too, considering it was only guaranteeing its advertisers a minimum of 3.5 million streams.
Yahoo! paid the NFL $20 million to stream the game and now knows (along with advertisers) the size of audience it can garner in the future.
33% of those visitors were international. It was the first time international viewers could access a National Football League game without cable or satellite.
This news comes after the NFL announced last week that it has extended an agreement to play regular season games at Wembley Stadium in London for an additional five years, with the Jaguars also committing to play annually at Wembley every year throughout the agreement.
With the Colts in the same division, you have wonder if they will be playing a game in a soccer stadium (and on a digital screen) in the coming years.