Shares of Neulion (TSX:NLN) are up more than 12% today after the company announced it will partner with Rogers to offer live Sportsnet channels on mobile devices.
The new service, called Sportsnet Now, will carry seven Sportsnet channels. Neulion says the pay TV authentication will be “seamless”, alerting viewers to which events are happening live, allow subscribers to PVR content and to view up to four events at once.
“Our partnership with NeuLion continues to grow as they enable us to deliver more and more unique digital experiences, getting our content quickly and easily into viewers’ hands,” said Rogers VP Pary Bell. “By working with NeuLion, we are able to seamlessly integrate our seven broadcast channels through one digital destination, allowing our viewers access to all content on digital devices and the ability to watch up to four different channels at once.”
The offering will be joined by Rogers new Netflix challenger, shomi, due later this year.
Today’s deal is similar to one Neulion struck with The Tennis Channel is late May. Mobile viewers of the currently ongoing French Open can switch between any of the five courts from Roland Garros, and view matches that aren’t part of major broadcaster’s programming docket.
A recent report from video analytics firm Ooyala suggests the share of content watched on mobile devices is expanding rapidly, and that live sports represent an increasing portion of it. The percentage of all viewers who connect with a mobile device is expected to nearly double, from 18% in 2013 to 37% in 2018. “It’s becoming increasingly evident that live sports are popular across all platforms, especially on mobiles and tablets,” noted the study. “Major events such as Soccer, the Olympic Games, football and cricket draw the broadest audience. The increased availability of live action, VOD and other premium content is driving up online video viewing, with the statistics speaking for themselves. Irrespective of platforms, at least 10 minutes a day is spent on watching live sports.”
Founded in 2004, Neulion is based in Plainview, New York and has offices in Vancouver and Toronto. The company has partnered with the NHL, NBA, and NFL, as well as more minor organizations such as The Big Ten Network and the Ontario Hockey League. The company earned $2.2-million on revenue of $47.1-million in its fiscal 2013, which was reported in March.