These numbers are in late, but better late than never. According to a recent post on the Silverlight Blog, NBC Sports had more than 2.2 million unique viewers streaming Sunday Night Football games during the 2009 season.
With 17 games over the course of the season, that comes out to about 130,000 viewers per game, with a peak of 38,500 simultaneous users. That might not seem like a lot of viewers, but those that did tune in to stream the game watched a lot of football — an average of 29 minutes per viewer, which the Silverlight team says is about 24 minutes longer than the average viewing time on broadcast TV.
In comparison, the CBS Sports presentation of March Madness on Demand — which included all 63 games of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament — pulled in a total of 8.3 million uniques and 11.7 million hours of video viewed over the course of the four-week tourney.
Lower viewership numbers for Sunday Night Football could be attributed to the fact that the online streaming of the games came at the same time that they were available over the weekend and on national broadcast television. Comparatively, much of the streaming audience for MMOD comes in the early rounds of the tournament, when games are played during work hours on weekdays.
The 2009 football season was the second year that NBC Sports streamed the games live, but the first year that the broadcaster chose to use Microsoft Silverlight for the video experience. (A case study on the implementation of Silverlight for streaming Sunday Night Football online has more details on how it all came together.)
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