PHOENIX – Technology is constantly changing, the NFL is changing with it, and the Buffalo Bills find themselves smack in the middle of one of the bigger changes the league has made in a long time.
The Bills’ Oct. 25 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London will be the first streamed live worldwide on a digital platform, the league announced Monday during the start of its three-day meeting here.
The game will be televised locally in the Western New York and Jacksonville markets, but viewers elsewhere in the country and throughout the world will be able to see it online.
“From our standpoint, it’s a historic day to be the first game ever to be played” with a primarily digital audience, Bills President Russ Brandon said.
“The reality is, the way we consume content is far different today than it was when most of us were growing up, especially the millennial generation,” Brandon said. “They take in content in a much different fashion than we do and to be a part of that landscape of where that is heading in the next 10 to 20 years” is exciting. “The NFL is always a thought leader when it comes to how it distributes its content and we’re excited to be a part of it.”
The platform for the digital distribution has yet to be determined, although there is strong speculation that it will be YouTube or Facebook, because those companies recently struck business partnerships with the NFL.
The game, which has a 9:30 a.m. kickoff, will not be a part of the NFL’s Sunday Ticket package on DirecTV.
Meanwhile, Brandon addressed the Bills’ salary-cap status after a busy offseason of aggressive spending. The Buffalo News learned that, according to the most recent data, the Bills are $5.28 million under the cap, seemingly leaving them little room to make any more significant moves.
“We’re certainly pushing it a little bit, but from our standpoint, that’s what” Senior Vice President of Football Administration “Jimmy Overdorf focuses on each and every day. But we’re still in the business of improving the team in any way we can.”
Brandon said that General Manager Doug Whaley and coach Rex Ryan would continue to evaluate the team, “but we certainly got a majority of our work done early in free agency, and with the trades as well.
“We’ve talked about it’s not about winning press conferences in March. It’s about winning games in December and January, and that’s what all the work has been done” to accomplish.
Brandon said team owners Terry and Kim Pegula have been “incredible” in providing the team’s football operation the necessary means to acquire talent.
“Their support and guidance throughout have been the foundation of where we are right now,” Brandon said. “And obviously Doug Whaley in combination with Coach Ryan have been a great partnership.”