You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

NBC sports executive discusses future of live streaming sports

It’s no secret that the times haven’t been kind to cable television.

There’s no question viewership is down, especially among the younger generation. Stats show they’re watching about six hours less of television per week.

But here’s the conundrum: people are still viewing their shows and sporting events. They’re just getting it via non-traditional ways, whether it’s via a streaming device, phone or iPad.

Sports are especially studying ways to make money off the newest TV-watching trend. It was a hot topic Sunday at SXSW during a panel discussion “Live Sports and Cordcutters, the Future of Streaming.”

Rob Simmelkjaer oversees NBC sports ventures. He talked about how his network successfully made every event at last year’s Olympics available to stream. NBC has similar plans for its coverage of next year’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

There are plans to make other, lesser watched sports available to American viewers, including cycling races and rugby matches.

But Simmelkjaer said streaming still is a small part of what NBC Sports does. He likened it to a body part.

“It’s our toe,” he said. “It’s not anything more than a toe. It probably won’t be anything more than a foot in the near future.”

But live streaming sports is becoming more lucrative for Twitter, which secured the rights to stream Thursday night NFL games this past fall. The move served multiple dynamic purposes. Users were able to watch the game while interacting with other passionate fans. It almost was akin to watching your favorite team at a bar, discussing key plays over a beer.

Andrew Barge, who manages Twitter’s relationships with its sports partners, believes the streaming trend will feature more personalized content. He predicts a user will be able to watch highlights of his fantasy team’s players with their stats superimposed on the video.

Streaming also would allow networks to tap into a new, burgeoning e-sports market. There might be 2 million viewers who tune into an NFL exhibition game, but 35 million will watch the League of Legends Championship Series on Twitch.

Currently, sports streaming tends to supplement a fan’s experience, a secondary screen allowing for highlights and behind-the-scenes information.

That should change.

“Ultimately,” Simmelkjaer said, “the screens will start merging.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Express win series against Cubs

Drew Robinson hit a two-run double in the fourth inning, and Ronald Guzman doubled and singled twice as the Round Rock Express topped the Iowa Cubs 10-6 on Tuesday. The third straight win for Round Rock gives them a 3-1 series triumph to conclude an eight-game homestand. The double by Robinson capped a three-run inning and gave the Express a 4-2 lead...
Stony Point tops Pflugerville, grabs spot in softball playoffs

Lauren Despres, Bri Fulgencio and Bella Garcia combined for six runs and four RBIs to help Stony Point’s softball team roll past Pflugerville 12-4 Monday night, clinching the final playoff berth out of District 13-6A for the Tigers. Stony Point will open a Class 6A bi-district playoff series against Bowie on Thursday. “We really swung it...
2017 NFL Draft preview countdown: Quarterbacks
2017 NFL Draft preview countdown: Quarterbacks

NFL DRAFT PREVIEW: QUARTERBACKS By Kevin Lyttle and Suzanne Halliburton This year’s three-day draft begins April 27 in Philadelphia in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. April 27: Round 1, 7 p.m. April 28: Rounds 2-3, 6 p.m. April 29: Rounds 4-7, 11 a.m. TV: ESPN, NFL Network ON THE CLOCK...
Reports: Derek Jeter, Jeb Bush group agrees on deal to buy Miami Marlins
Reports: Derek Jeter, Jeb Bush group agrees on deal to buy Miami Marlins

Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has reached an agreement to sell the team to a group of investors that includes New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, according to a report from the Miami Herald on Tuesday afternoon. There are "other details to be worked out," but that deal would have to be approved...
Bohls: Texas’ chances of landing Notre Dame’s Malik Zaire? Not great
Bohls: Texas’ chances of landing Notre Dame’s Malik Zaire? Not great

While I got ya, here are nine things and one crazy prediction: 1. Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire is no closer to picking a school as a grad transfer and may not until after he graduates in late May. Texas remains on his list, but one source close to the situation told me Tuesday “it’s less than 50-50” that he will become a Longhorn...
More Stories