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Yahoo's live NFL stream was popular, but no match for TV

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Wondering how well Yahoo's grand experiment with a free NFL game stream fared? Quite well, actually... although your TV provider probably isn't sweating bullets. The league has revealed that about 15.2 million unique visitors watched the Bills/Jaguars game on Yahoo, which stacks up well against conventional broadcasts (between 13.5 million to 17.6 million). However, the stream only managed an average of 2.36 million viewers per minute -- that pales in comparison to the 10 million to 20 million plus that TV gets. In other words, many fans only watched some of the match before heading elsewhere.

It's not clear what led to the mixed results, although there are at least a couple of factors at work. There were some reports of quality issues that may have turned people off. Also, Yahoo was competing with not just the game's TV broadcast, but a high-profile Jets/Patriots game. If you were determined to catch both, something had to give. Whatever affected the viewership, it wasn't enough to deter the NFL. The organization says it's "thrilled" with this test, and it's promising more streams in the future.

[Image credit: Stephen Pond/Getty Images]

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