Yahoo! NFL Game Won't Make Money, but That's Not the Point

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- This morning, Yahoo! (YHOO) announced that it had won the rights to broadcast an NFL game in October between the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars, taking place in London.

The news gave a shot in the arm to Yahoo!'s stock, which jumped about 1%. So they paid $20 million for a game that increased value in the stock by $270 million. Not bad.

The deal looks like it will be good for the NFL.

From their perspective, they're getting $20 million from Yahoo! for a not-so-great game in London (market rates), but they can experiment with seeing how the game does across the world on a bunch of mobile devices.

According to a Peter King SI column this morning, the NFL is happy the two teams playing are not so good because it will be a baseline measure of how popular the league -- not the individual teams -- is around the world. How many watch it on mobile devices? Where? What cities? What kinds of people? Yahoo! will have much finer-grained info about viewers than TV. This is all valuable info for the NFL.

Will it be a big money-maker for Yahoo!? Unlikely.

According to one industry insider I spoke to this morning, Yahoo! will have to pay CBS $1 million to $2 million to produce the game with their talent (no, you won't see Katie Couric calling the game with David Pogue and Joe Zee on the sidelines).

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