Posts with «american football» label

'Madden NFL 23' will drop CPR touchdown celebrations after Damar Hamlin cardiac arrest

Madden NFL 23 developer EA Sports says it will remove CPR touchdown celebrations from the game in light of Damar Hamlin’s recent light-threatening injury. Hamlin, a second-year safety with the Buffalo Bills, suffered an on-the-field cardiac arrest on January 2nd during a Monday Night Football match between the Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. Following a routine tackle of Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, Hamlin collapsed to the ground. The incident saw the Bills’ medical team administer CPR to Hamlin, and an ambulance eventually transport him off the field to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for critical care.

Not home quite just yet🏡🫶🏾. Still doing & passing a bunch of test. Special thank-you to Buffalo General it’s been nothing but love since arrival! Keep me in y’all prayers please! #3strong

— 𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧 (@HamlinIsland) January 10, 2023

“EA Sports is taking steps to remove the celebration from Madden NFL 23 via an update in the coming days,” a spokesperson for the studio told CBS Sports. Incidentally, the announcement comes just days after Pittsburg Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith took part in a CPR celebration during his team’s Sunday win against the Cleveland Browns. The incident raised more than a few eyebrows on social media. “I just don't want people to think of me that way and think I was doing anything,” Highsmith said after the game, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Because I would never, ever, ever, ever want to do that intentionally, and I never ever would do that.” On Tuesday, Hamlin shared an update on his recovery, posting on Twitter that he was at Buffalo General Hospital and completing a series of tests to ensure his heart is okay.

YouTube will be the home of NFL Sunday Ticket starting in 2023

YouTube is ready for some more football. The streaming service has snagged the rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket package, which offers access to out-of-market games that air on FOX and CBS each Sunday. DirecTV, the current home of Sunday Ticket, has held the rights since 1994, but the bundle will move to Google’s streaming service next season.

Apple and Amazon were also believed to be in talks for Sunday Ticket. Apple was reportedly the frontrunner at one point, but it's said to have dropped out of the race last week, leaving Amazon and Google to duke it out.

Sunday Ticket will be available as an add-on for YouTube TV subscribers or as a standalone option on YouTube Primetime Channels, an à la carte service that debuted last month. YouTube hasn’t revealed how much it will charge for Sunday Ticket yet. Sunday Ticket plans for the 2022 season on DirecTV started at $294.

NFL 👏 Sunday 👏 Ticket 👏 is coming to YouTube Primetime Channels and @YouTubeTV in *2023*.

— YouTube (@YouTube) December 22, 2022

YouTube and the NFL didn’t announce the terms of the deal. According to The Wall Street Journal, YouTube will pay $2 billion per year in a seven-year pact. That's around $500 million more per season that DirecTV is paying. However, DirecTV is believed to have between 1.5 million and 2 million Sunday Ticket subscribers, and it has been losing money on the package for years.

In a statement, the NFL said it and "YouTube will work together to determine additional ways to support distribution of NFL Sunday Ticket in commercial establishments such as bars and restaurants." The Journal suggested that could lead to YouTube paying the league another $200 million per year.

The NFL and YouTube have been partners for several years, dating back to the debut of the league's main channel on the platform in 2015. Two years ago, YouTube TV subscribers gained access to NFL Network and NFL RedZone. Those will stay on YouTube TV under the terms of the expanded pact. Additionally, the two sides will grant some YouTube creators access to certain NFL tentpole events for content opportunities.

The Sunday Ticket agreement is a major coup for Google. YouTube TV is already home to other sports networks, such as those from the NBA and MLB, but having exclusive rights to a bundle that offers many out-of-market NFL games is likely to draw more users to the streaming service. Amazon Prime Video has an 11-year deal to stream Thursday Night Football games that started this season. Apple is pushing further into live sports as well, with a 10-year deal to stream every Major League Soccer game via Apple TV starting in 2023.

Apple has reportedly dropped out of NFL Sunday Ticket negotiations

In 2021, Apple was considered the frontrunner to secure streaming rights to the National Football League’s Sunday Ticket package. Now, a year later, the company has reportedly dropped out of negotiations. The tidbit comes from a Puck article about Bob Iger’s surprise return to Disney. According to author Dylan Byers, Apple recently said no to the NFL “not because they can’t afford [the package], but because they don’t see the logic.”

With Disney reportedly bowing out of the negations as well, the talks have become a two-horse race between Amazon and Google. “Amazon can use [the deal] to drive Prime subscriptions; Google can use it to fuel its YouTube TV business,” adds Byers. Of the two suitors, Amazon is probably the best fit given that Prime Video is the exclusive home of Thursday Night Football for the next decade.

Last year, The Athletic reported the NFL was asking for more than $2 billion per year for Sunday Ticket rights, a price that was at least $500 million more than what DirecTV had been paying to air Sunday games. In a press conference earlier this week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Sunday Ticket negotiations were at “a very critical point” for the league. That seems to have been an understatement.

EA's return to college football games will arrive in summer 2024

A year after it was first announced, EA’s return to college football has a release window. In an interview with ESPN, Daryl Holt, the vice president and general manager of the company’s EA Sports division, said the publisher plans to release the game in the summer of 2024. If another year-and-a-half of development sounds like a lot for what will become an annual release for EA, it’s because the company says it wants to create a title fans will want to play.

"That's the best date for us to bring the game that we think is going to meet or exceed our player expectations," Holt told ESPN. "And cover the breadth and scale of what we want in the game. We're trying to build a very immersive college football experience."

Besides announcing a release window, Holt shared some details about what the final game will look like. He said the title would feature at least 120 schools, all 10 FBS conferences and the College Football Playoff. He added that EA was working on finding a way to include real-life student-athletes in the game. “Our intent is to work towards that and find a meaningful way to include them in the game,” he said. An EA source told ESPN athletes would be compensated if they end up in the game. The final product will also feature Dynasty and Road to Glory modes – the latter allowing you to create your own player and take them through the college football process.

2024 is a long time to wait for a new college football entry, but after nearly a decade since the release of NCAA Football 14, most fans are probably happy to wait if it means EA delivers a polished game. Holt promised EA Sports would share more information about the title ahead of release.

Amazon Prime Video will stream NFL Black Friday games starting in 2023

Amazon doesn't want to limit itself to streaming football games on Thursday nights. The internet giant has struck a deal with the NFL for Prime Video to livestream a yearly match on Black Friday, the day after American Thanksgiving. The first game airs November 24th, 2023 at about 3PM Eastern, with the teams to be announced once the league shares its schedule for that season.

Deadlinenotes the Black Friday deal is separate from Thursday Night Football. While it's not certain how much Amazon paid, the existing weekly arrangement has Amazon spending roughly $1 billion per year through 2033.

Amazon and the NFL aren't shy about the reasoning. On top of creating a yearly tradition, this will give you a reason to visit Amazon (and subscribe to Prime) right as the holiday shopping frenzy kicks off. You may come for the football, but stay to buy toys or an Echo speaker.

Whatever Amazon paid for the deal, it's likely to have a large audience. Thursday Night Football's debut on Prime Video is currently averaging 10.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings. That's up 25 percent in the 18-49 age group versus the first five games from 2021. A Black Friday stream might not accelerate growth, but it could keep viewers hooked.

The NFL+ streaming service arrives today starting at $40 per year

After months of teasing, the NFL has launched its expected streaming service. The newly available NFL+ gives you access to live football streams and ad-free library content through the NFL App and the web starting at $40 per year or $5 per month. Spend $80 per year or $10 per month on NFL+ Premium and you'll also get ad-free match replays (both full and condensed) across devices as well as Coaches Film features like All-22.

There are some significant catches, however. While you'll have live audio for every game regardless of device, live video is only available for live local and "primetime" games on phones and tablets — you can't use this to watch a playoff run through your computer or TV. Preseason games are limited to out-of-market showdowns (on all devices), although arguably a perk when you can often find local preseason games on TV for free.

The NFL+ debut puts an end to Game Pass in the US. Not that you'll necessarily mind — even the Premium tier is less expensive than the outgoing $100 per year offering. While you won't have as much freedom as you might like, the new offering might make more sense if you normally watch on mobile or just want to catch the occasional game while away.

NFL commissioner says the league's own streaming service will launch ahead of the 2022 season

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has confirmed the league will launch its own streaming service ahead of the 2022 season. “The consumers want it, so we’re very excited about what NFL+ is going to be,” Goodell told CNBC. “It’s really in an early stage. I think over the years it will continue to grow. It will be an important strategy for us going forward.”

Goodell declined to reveal details about pricing, what exactly NFL+ will offer and precisely when it will arrive. However, he said that information will be announced in a few weeks. A report previously suggested that NFL+ will debut this month. With pre-season games getting underway in early August, that timing makes sense.

According to a May report from Sports Business Journal, NFL+ may cost $5 per month. It's expected to grant fans access to some live games on phones and tablets — the ones that they'd be able to see on local TV in their market. Previously, carriers and Yahoo (Engadget's parent company) streamed such games, but those deals have expired.

Meanwhile, Goodell said the league is likely to partner with a streaming service for NFL Sunday Ticket, with an announcement expected by the fall. "I clearly believe we'll be moving to a streaming service," Goodell said.

Amazon, Apple and ESPN+ owner Disney are among those who have reportedly submitted bids. Goodell said discussions have been going on for over a year

Goodell acknowledged that the current partnership with DirecTV, which will end after the 2022 season, had worked well for the NFL. However, he pointed to the new opportunities that the likes of Apple and Amazon can open up — especially since fans likely won't be prompted to sign up for a satellite TV package too.

"We really believe that these new platforms give us an ability to innovate beyond where we are today and make the experience for our consumers so much better," Goodell said. "I think this will make it more accessible for fans."

The NFL's rumored streaming service could debut in July

The NFL may launch its own streaming service as soon as July. The long-rumored NFL+ could allow fans to stream some live games on phones and tablets. It may feature other content, such as podcasts, radio and team-created content. According to Sports Business Journal, NFL+ may cost $5 per month, but pricing isn't set in stone.

It's believed the games fans will be able to stream on phones and tablets will be restricted to those that they can see on local TV. Yahoo (Engadget's parent company) and carriers previously streamed those games. However, those deals have expired and it seems the NFL is retaining the rights.

The report also notes the league has been in talks with potential suitors, including Apple and Amazon, about taking an equity stake in its media business. If such a deal goes through, NFL+ could be made available as part of another streaming service. Amazon already streams Thursday Night Football games on Prime Video. Apple's has moved into sports as well — it streams exclusive MLB games every Friday.

Speaking of the MLB, the NFL looks set to follow in that league's footsteps. It has streamed out-of-market games on MLB.TV since 2002. The MLB is reportedly planning to debut a broader streaming service next year that would include in-market games for fans' home teams. FIFA also waded into the wide world of streaming last month, with the free, ad-supported service FIFA+.

The NFL may launch its own streaming service

The National Football League is developing its own streaming, according to The Athletic. NFL officials reportedly showed off a service tentatively called NFL+ to team owners at the league’s annual offseason meeting in Florida this week. Among other content, the service would include games and podcasts.

The Athletic reports the platform likely won’t be ready until team owners meet again in May. At that point, a vote would decide whether the NFL moves forward with the project. Potentially complicating the rollout of a subscription service is the state of the NFL’s various media deals.

In 2021, the NFL and Verizon extended their longstanding marketing and technology partnership but did so without agreeing on new terms related to mobile streaming. Up until 2018, the carrier had exclusive rights to that content. One analyst The Athletic spoke to suggested the league could use NFL+ as a way to leverage a better deal from either Verizon or another mobile carrier. The league also recently entered into an 11-year deal with Amazon for the retailer to carry Thursday Night Football games through its Prime Video service.

We’ve reached out to the NFL for comment.

An NFL football game is coming to Meta Quest and PlayStation VR

The NFL is making its first-ever VR game. And rather than work with longtime partner Electronic Arts on the project, the league is partnering with StatusPro, a startup that uses real-time player data to “create authentic extended reality experiences." The NFL promised to share more details on the game, including release date information, in the future. What we know for now is that the game will come to Meta Quest and PlayStation VR and will allow fans to experience playing as a professional football player through a first-person 3D perspective.

It will be interesting to see how StatusPro designs around some of the motion sickness issues that come with playing a VR game in first-person. Games like Half-Life: Alyx offer multiple locomotion options so that players can find one that doesn’t leave them feeling nauseous. Two of the game’s options fall back on allowing individuals to teleport their avatar between on-screen locations. For most people, those are ideal for preventing motion sickness, but they also wouldn’t make for a very fast-paced (and therefore immersive) football game.