Yahoo's game changer: Exclusive NFL deal

Yahoo jumps into the livestream game
Yahoo jumps into the livestream game   

Yahoo sealed an exclusive deal with the NFL to stream live and for free the game between the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct. 25.

The two entities didn't disclose an official amount, but executives familiar with the industry think Yahoo might not have paid less than $20 million to stream the game in exchange for advertising rights, according to Re/code.

This will be the first time for the NFL to stream one of its regular season games online.

The game, which will be available on all devices, will be held at Wembley Stadium in London, meaning a five-hour time difference for people in the Eastern Time zone.

Kyle Orton of the Buffalo Bills
Getty Images
Kyle Orton of the Buffalo Bills

The partnership is viewed as a big event for both the NFL and Yahoo.

"It's a platform shift," Adam Cahan, the senior vice president of mobile and emerging products for Yahoo, said on Wednesday during an exclusive interview with CNBC.

"If you look at how consumers are engaging right now, especially with sports content, or content more broadly, we're seeing times where people are on their mobile device more than they're on even their TVs, their desktop or anything else."

The platform shift is something that also drew the NFL to enter this partnership.

"The shifts in how our fans interact with content, the shifts in how everyone interacts with content over digital and mobile platforms has us thinking, well, how do we reach more people," said NFL's digital chief, Brian Rolapp, during the interview.

Read MoreSurvey: And the most hated cable company is ...

Yahoo to live stream NFL game
Yahoo to live stream NFL game   

Success for the live-streaming event will come from the ability to deliver a high-quality experience to streamers and to reach a larger audience, the two executives said. Re/code reported that CBS will be in charge of the production for the game.

"It is not by happenstance that this is a game from London in a 9:30 [a.m.] Eastern Time zone, which is prime time in China and other parts of the world," said Rolapp.

"Reaching globally in a frictionless environment becomes very, very important, and Yahoo has proved that they are able to do that."

Read MoreNow Blatter's quit, should Qatar be worried?

Cahan said that Yahoo currently has more than one billion monthly users.

"What I'd say is with every platform shift, we think the NFL has played a really big part of it," said Cahan.

"I think the NFL will help us lead the way there, and hopefully we'll have more of it to come."

Yet, it might be hard to have more of those games in the near future as most are locked with TV networks until at least 2022, according to Re/code.

First ever live stream of NFL game
First ever live stream of NFL game   

Kevin O'Leary, the chairman of O'Leary Funds and co-host of "Shark Tank," said the live stream was significant on two levels. It validates "over the top" as a major way to provide content and could be a move when it comes to Yahoo's creating value, O'Leary said.

"To me, as an investor, it's the most interesting thing Marissa [Mayer] has done at Yahoo since she started her tenure there," O'Leary said. "It's been really boring until now. This tells me Yahoo is not dead. It might still be alive."

O'Leary added that even if there was a 15 percent to 20 percent chance for Mayer to turn this into a franchise, she should go ahead and proceed.

"Let's see if she can monetize," said O'Leary. "This is the best news I've heard out of her camp for two years."