This week, NBC and the NFL announced that Sunday Night Football will be streamed live on the Internet on NFL.com and NBCSports.com. Ironically, the first game will actually be on Thursday, September 4; if you’ve got a broadband connection, you’ll be able to watch the Redskins and Giants battle it out on the gridiron. (Does anybody actually say “gridiron” anymore?)
The remaining 16 games will be on Sunday nights, and the Web-based programming is slated to offer some interactive wrinkles. You will be able to choose different camera views, including the Madden-esque cable cam. Picture-in-picture will let you follow multiple angles at one time. You can also get live stats throughout the game and replay highlights on demand.
Football on TV is great. It’s arguably better than even being at the stadium (especially if you get stuck in third deck seats on the goal line). Adding interactive features will make it even better. And now that March Madness has demonstrated how successful live sports over the Internet can be, it’s about time that we get to try professional football in the Digital Age. My major concern is about the resolution of the streamed images; football was invented just to make HDTV look good, so anything less could be a disappointment. But if you’re stuck at a computer on a Sunday night, at least you’ll know that you won’t have to miss the big game.