The NFL is launching a streaming service – with some major caveats
For $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year, the new NFL+ service will provide access to local games and live prime time. It’s the same content the league has offered for free on its NFL mobile app for several years.
NFL+ is also available exclusively on mobile phones and tablets. Users will not be able to stream games to TVs using the service.
The NFL can be
This is good news for the television industry, as the NFL is one of the biggest on-air ratings drivers. But it allows the league to experiment a bit in the streaming world, earn some extra cash, and build a subscriber base with more streaming-focused fans.
NFL+ also features live local and national audio for every game, on-demand NFL Network broadcasts, and access to the NFL Films archive, depending on the league.
“Today marks an important day in National Football League history with the launch of NFL+,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement Monday. “Passionate and dedicated football fans are the lifeblood of the NFL, and being able to reach and interact with them across multiple platforms is incredibly important to us.”
Goodell added that the league looks forward to continuing to grow NFL+ while providing “access to an enormous amount of NFL content, including the media industry’s most valuable content: live NFL games.”
There’s also a premium NFL+ version, which costs $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year. This tier includes all the features of the cheapest version, but also includes full game replays and other options.
The NFL was an exception among the four major American professional sports leagues, the only one not to have a direct-to-customer streaming subscription service. NFL+, however, is much more limited than NBA League Pass, NHL.TV, or MLB.TV, which offer out-of-town games in addition to local games. DirecTV remains the NFL’s exclusive out-of-town football partner, although this so-called Sunday Ticket contract expires at the end of this year, and there is much speculation about which supplier will take the reins.