NFL: 460M minutes streamed for Bills-Jags; 1/3 of audience international

NEW YORK -- The NFL says more than 460 million total minutes of video were consumed for Sunday's game between the Bills and Jaguars.

The league experimented with distributing coverage primarily through streaming for the first time for the matchup from London through a partnership with Yahoo. More than 15.2 million unique viewers watched for any length of time, the NFL said Monday. Approximately a third of the audience was international.

That works out to an average audience worldwide of about 2.4 million. The Jets-Dolphins game from London earlier this month, which also started at 9:30 a.m. ET, averaged 9.9 million viewers in the U.S. alone on CBS.

Jacksonville's wild 34-31 win over Buffalo was available only through Yahoo worldwide everywhere other than the two home markets, where it was televised on CBS.

NFL senior vice president Hans Schroeder said Sunday that the experiment proved that streaming could be used as the main distribution method for more games and for higher-profile time slots.

Schroeder, who oversees media strategy, business development and sales, said NFL officials were pleased with the quality of the stream and that "any glitches were around the edges." Many users reported intermittent choppiness in their feeds, although that can be caused by Internet connections.

The NFL is on a one-year contract with CBS for "Thursday Night Football," and Schroeder said the league will need to consider in the coming months whether a streaming option could be used for at least part of that package. Of course, the possibility of digital companies such as Yahoo bidding for the rights alongside television networks could help to drive up the cost of the next Thursday prime-time contract.