Today see Peter King’s new Monday morning NFL column – Football Morning in America –on NBCSports.com with hit first entry since his move featuring interviews with Philadelphia quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, Eagles coach Doug Pedersen on whether QB Carson Wentz will return from injury for Week 1, a look at the NFL’s officiating shakeup, Tony Romo‘s next step toward a golfing future, and a new section titled, “What I’ve Learned…” with a football personality talking about life lessons
As football season prepares to churn, NBC Sports’ digital platforms are coming off record numbers for the group’s carriage of the World Cup, courtesy of Telemundo. Cynopsis Sports asked Rick Cordella, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Digital Media, NBC Sports Group about King’s move, the company’s innovations and lessons learned.
Cordella on Peter King: Peter is the best and most well-known NFL columnist, likely ever. And for any team, when you add a star player, he’s going to fit in. But I think there is a special connection with NBC and Peter. He has been working on Football Night in America since 2006, and there is a long-term relationship and comfort that exists for both sides. Looking across our NBC Sports digital platforms, we really feel like we’re offering some of the best NFL coverage anywhere on the internet: number one, Peter King’s Football Morning in Americacolumn every Monday; two, Mike Florio and ProfootballTalk; three, Rotoworld’s fantasy football coverage; and number four, the streaming of FNIA and Sunday Night Football.
On World Cup viewing trends: The number of peak concurrents for Telemundo, which we service through our own white label streaming service — Playmaker Media — far surpassed anything we could have expected. The Mexico-Sweden game on Wednesday, June 27, exceeded one million peak concurrent users, and was our third-most streamed game ever for the NBC Sports Group, trailing only the 2015 and 2018 Super Bowls.
I also give a lot of credit to the entire NBC Sports Digital Tech and Product teams. This is the third and final leg of an incredible run over the first half of 2018. Starting with streaming Super Bowl LII, through the PyeongChang Olympics, and now with the 2018 World Cup, the team has handled the three largest world-wide sporting events flawlessly. I’m really proud of how they’ve performed, and it demonstrates Playmaker’s ability to handle the absolute biggest events in sports.
On NBC Sports Gold: We had the benefit of an existing Tour de France product that was launched back in 2009, long before D2C was a true strategy. We added to that since and started in 2016 an umbrella brand for our direct-to-consumer verticals called NBC Sports Gold, which now contains Cycling, Rugby, Premier League, Figure Skating, Speed Skating, Track & Field, Motocross, and IndyCar in 2019. We believe the verticals maximize the pay/value equation. Subscribers are paying for exactly the content they want. And selling seasonal passes versus monthly to those verticals evens out the choppiness of the schedule, while reducing overall churn. We’re really happy with how NBC Sports Gold is progressing.
On the Tour de France: As I mentioned earlier, we have the benefit that this is our 9th year offering TDF via D2C. Each and every year, we’ve grown the number of subs and revenue, and 2018 is no exception. We’ve seen continued impressive growth. And to put that in perspective, before Day 1 of the 2018 tour, we surpassed the total revenue for the entire 2017 Tour De France.