NFL Secret Sauce: Telecom
At yesterday's ACG Boston DealMaker's breakfast, Jonathan Kraft spoke to a packed room of investment bankers, venture capitalists and financial consultants about the business of football. I've heard Jonathan speak before and he was equally engaging, compelling and interesting this morning. He redirected the topic of the meeting from the business of sports, to what he claims it really is -- the entertainment business.
While so much of the discussion was fascinating to me, it hit home when Jonathan talked about the growth opportunities for the NFL presented by digital, interactive services. He described some very interesting services that can be offered once we have large amounts of bandwidth flowing in and out of our homes. Imagine choosing which cameras through which you view a football game, listening to the on-field mics rather than the announcers, choosing your own replays...it seemed endless and like something I'd certainly pay for.
So why'd it hit home? Every day I work with companies in the telecom space that are related in some way to making this massive, two-way access to bandwidth possible. These are service providers as well as equipment and software vendors that make ratcheting up the speed real or that manage the massive amounts of traffic that have resulted now that we're accustomed to viewing TV shows and live sporting events on the Internet. However, it's not uncommon for friends and colleagues to laugh at me when I tell them that the latest advancements in fiber, deep packet inspection, content delivery networks and media delivery services are so cool. Of course, when I tell them what that means for them -- with an example like Jonathan shared today -- they get my excitement.
I often talk about how telecommunications is fundamental to the growth and innovation in so many industries. Today we learned how it can be the foundation for future revenue for the NFL and fun stuff like new ways to enjoy and interact with your favorite football teams and players. This is why I think telecom is so cool.