Sprint in the NFL radio business

“Sprint Nextel subscribers will be able to listen to live radio broadcasts of National Football League games this season as part of new partnership between the wireless provider and sports league.

IphonefootballThe live, cell-phone-accessible radio broadcasts—the centerpiece of the new NFL Mobile Live platform–will be available to all Sprint wireless subscribers who purchase a basic data plan as part of their services. In addition, as part of the agreement a select group of premium subscribers will be able to view live broadcasts of the NFL Network’s eight Thursday Night Football games on their phones starting on Nov. 6.” — MEDIA WEEK

Hmmm. Here’s one of several “take away’s” from this story by Mark Ramsey:

“For some reason, many broadcasters confuse the term “content” with “the stuff that’s on our air.” When I use the term “content” I mean the material that’s of serious interest to listeners. Stuff they will seek out. Not filler. Not commodities. McDonalds and NOBU may both offer “food,” but that’s where the similarity ends, and don’t think for a moment the patrons don’t know the difference.

In this case, the content is owned in its entirety by a third party – not a radio company. When it comes to professional sports play-by-play, radio is a distribution channel, not a content owner. Thus we will lose out to the owners of content in deals like this.”

Our company does broadcasts for a whole bunch of big (and small) colleges. We’ve been streaming (via Yahoo!) for years and on satellite radio for the last few years. It seems inevitable that these broadcasts will go directly to phones, sooner or later. Stay tuned? Dialed in?

2 thoughts on “Sprint in the NFL radio business

  1. Andy makes a good point. The “phones” of today (and certainly tomorrow) are more than mobile phones. A fact that my iPhone buddies mention again and again. And I think I get that. While I can/will have hours of fun with an iPhone… it will add some complexity to my digital life, so I’m dragging my feet.

  2. I listened to a very interesting discussion on IT Conversations the other day: http://itc.conversationsnetwork.org/shows/detail3633.html
    In which Mark Rolston from Frog Design talked about his role as a product designer in the changing perception of devices which we use to access information. One of the takeaways from it (for me) was the idea that the phone as a distinct, separate device is on the outs.
    The devices we’re carrying in our pockets are still able to make phone calls, yes; but more and more they are becoming portals into an information space that transcends the shape of the device you are accessing it with. You only need to look at the iphone’s zen-like design to see one of the starting points of this development.
    One physical button on the face, not mapped to any dedicated function. One big window into– what? Your phone calls? Streaming audio? A web application? A terminal prompt? It could be anything. The fact that we call it a phone is more of a marketing function than anything about the physical device.
    I guess I mention this because you continue to use “phone” with certain predispositions to what such a device is and is not capable of. Time to let go of that idea, I think.

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