As the most successful and profitable sports around, it is surprising the the NFL has not fully embraced the internet. While there are tons of team blogs (hello you fine Ravens' fans), NFL.com and various other media sources on the internet, watching games is near impossible unless you live in the area that covers the team you wish to watch or if you want to spend a boatload in order to buy some cable package that allows you access to all the NFL games. With other sports like the UFC regularly streaming events online as well as through PPV and even in theaters, they have been able to grow quickly and globally like few sports before have been able to achieve.
In likely the first move for the NFL to join the ranks, they have teamed up with Yahoo to live stream the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars game on October 25th from London. The live stream will be free and open to everyone everywhere, meaning that people in London can watch at the same time people in Oakland can watch. Typically, streams like this have been region locked as part of the agreement to have them there and with the specific streaming service. Having it open everywhere will allow the NFL to push it's product into completely new markets.
With talks to allow a team to relocate to Los Angeles in the coming years, the NFL has been looking to expand rapidly not only in the United States, but abroad. The occasional talk of bringing a team to Mexico or Canada ends up fizzing out quickly, but it is no secret that the NFL and Roger Goodell see London as it's next big expansion market. Stepping up the number of games played across the pond from just a single game in 2010 to three games in 2015, it is clear that the NFL is hoping to attract new viewers after tapping out the US market.
By streaming the game online, it definitely opens up the doors for all NFL games to be streamed soon. That type of open stream would be a huge plus for fans of all NFL teams, both locally and globally, to watch their favorite teams. Not only does it assist the fan, but streaming services like Yahoo or even Twitch would likely be willing to pay billions for the exclusive rights to stream all NFL games every weekend, meaning that the NFL and it's owners could benefit their own pockets greatly while making their product easier to digest.
Only time will tell if this is a marketing stunt or if the NFL does indeed plan on moving forward with streaming all of it's content in the future. Hopefully for those Ravens' fans all around the world, you'll be able to get a high quality stream soon.