What’s next for the NFL in 2018?
The NFL and the league office are preparing to take a new approach to the business of officiating, in which the NFL and its members have been increasingly reliant on technology to ensure the integrity of games.
The NFL is looking to adopt technology that will allow the league to provide live video of every play, from the sidelines to the field, so that fans can be kept informed on the status of officiated plays, the league announced Thursday.
The technology will be developed through a partnership with the technology firm Aecom, which will work with NFL owners and the NFL officiating crew to identify trends in officiating and improve officiating in a more effective way.
It will also be integrated into the league’s replay system, allowing fans to view replays of any officiated play in real-time on a single screen.
The move to the new technology comes at a time when the league is trying to adapt to a new era in officiated sports, with the league moving from the old-school officiating approach to one where the league can be more responsive to fans and more accessible to media.
The NFL has said it will begin to stream games via its social media platforms in 2018.
In a conference call with reporters Thursday, NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino acknowledged the transition could be challenging, but said he’s confident the league will be able to adapt.
“We have the tools to make it work,” Blandino said.
“We have a very sophisticated technology that we’ve developed to make sure we have an effective way to provide that video to our fans.”
The league is looking at ways to use technology to make its games more accessible, including a social media strategy that would allow fans to share their views on officiated games on a variety of platforms.
The league has not publicly discussed how the technology will work.
The league said Thursday that it will start streaming games on the NFL Network in 2018, which is expected to be available to customers in the United States and Canada, and will stream games live on mobile devices via an app that will include an online scorecard, stats, and video clips.
The app will be made available on mobile platforms in 2019.
The app will include the ability to watch live replays, and replay data will be shared on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
The new technology will allow fans, including fans in the home, to report officiated fouls, penalties and other issues in real time, and the video clips will be available for fans to see on the app.
The technology will also allow fans and fans in remote locations to report incidents of unsportsmanlike conduct and conduct that threatens the integrity or safety of a game, such as illegal contact, unsportsmansquared contact or intentional interference with a football.
The goal of the technology is to provide more accountability for the game and allow the game to be played the way it should be, Blandino told reporters.
The team that has developed the technology has already had the opportunity to test it in a few instances, Blandinos said, adding that the technology was developed in partnership with officials who are members of the NFL’s Officiating Department.
The video will be posted to the NFL app in the coming weeks, he said.
The first test will be on Sept. 17 against the Oakland Raiders, but the technology could be expanded to games against the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans, the NFL announced.