Case Study
October 13, 2023

Lions Preseason Case Study

Detroit Lions Utilize Kiswe To Increase Preseason Watch Time by 4X Through Interactive Alternative Broadcast

About Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions are celebrating their remarkable 90th season in the NFL in 2023. This milestone is a testament to their prominent status within the league, underpinned by a rich history that has left an indelible mark on professional football. The Lions have consistently served as a cornerstone of the NFL, with a dedicated fan base and a legacy steeped in iconic players and memorable moments.

In recent years, the Lions have embraced technology, leveraging innovative digital platforms and fan engagement strategies to create immersive and interactive experiences. This forward-thinking approach underscores the Lions’ unwavering commitment to remaining at the forefront of sports entertainment, ensuring that their connection with fans remains strong and enduring.


NFL games are some of the most valuable assets in professional sports. The regular season media rights to this content are managed by the league and secured in long-term national distribution deals. However, the production and local distribution of preseason games is controlled by the teams, which affords them opportunities to drive incremental monetization. 

Recent changes to the NFL schedule have resulted in fewer preseason games and less inventory for the teams to monetize. In response, the Lions sought a way to create an alternative stream of their TV broadcast to multiply their advertising inventory and explore new approaches to story-telling. Finally, the team wished to leverage direct-to-consumer distribution as a means of establishing deeper connections with local fans and increasing preseason viewership.


The Lions partnered with Kiswe to help produce and distribute a first-of-its-kind local, alternative broadcast of the team’s first preseason game of the 2023 season. This “altcast” was hosted remotely by Peter Schrager, an NFL sideline reporter for FOX Sports, senior NFL writer for, and co-host of Good Morning Football on NFL Network.

The altcast showcased a number of former Lions players, in addition to other Detroit professional athletes and personalities who provided live commentary to the game and gave their predictions for the upcoming season. Kiswe was able to leverage both its cloud production and distribution products to help with this event in the following ways:

  1. The Lions produced the alt cast remotely utilizing Kiswe’s cloud production platform to easily coordinate with the crew remotely and add in the on air talent from their various locations. This type of broadcast featuring the same level of talent would have been prohibitively expensive had all the crew and guests been required to be physically on-site. This altcast was then streamed live on
  1. The Lions also utilized Kiswe’s distribution solution to stream the altcast via a white label, gated experience at This stream included fan engagement features like chat, cheer, polls, and Fan Reacts (video selfies) and was geo-fenced to only allow local fans to access by providing their email.


The data show that adding interactive features to linear content can lead to deeper engagement with fans, longer watch times, and by extension, a more valuable asset to sell to sponsors and advertisers.

  • The interactive altcast saw a 4X increase in average viewing time when compared to a similar, non-interactive preseason broadcast in 2022
  • Viewers who utilized either the chat or poll feature watched roughly 2X longer than those who did not
  • Viewers who utilized both the chat and poll feature watched 3X longer than those who did neither
  • Chat sentiment was high, with many fans commenting that the addition of guest commentators and interactive elements significantly enhanced the overall entertainment value of this innovative preseason experience


Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.