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NFL preps new premium streaming serviceNFL preps new premium streaming service

League reportedly plans to launch NFL Plus, a mobile-focused service offering live games on cell phones and tablets, in July for about $5 a month.

Alan Breznick

May 26, 2022

3 Min Read
NFL preps new premium streaming service

Following in the footsteps of Major League Baseball (MLB) and other major sports leagues, the National Football League (NFL) reportedly plans to launch its own premium streaming service in July.

As first reported by Sports Business Journal, NFL owners approved the plan at their meeting in Atlanta earlier this week. The new NFL Plus service will offer live games on mobile phones and tablets and will likely cost about $5 a month, although the pricing could change before launch, according to the report.

But even with the new streaming service, all NFL games will remain on their current broadcast and pay-TV channels. So, NFL Plus will complement, not replace, the league's main TV platforms.

The NFL did not respond to inquiries from Light Reading about the new service.

With the expected July debut, the new streaming service would be up and running in time for the NFL's pre-season games this summer, as well as its regular-season and playoff contests in the fall and winter. The service would reportedly offer the same games that fans can now see on TV stations in their local markets for no charge. In addition, it would feature other football-related content, possibly including radio broadcasts, podcasts and miscellaneous team-created content.

NFL Plus will take the place of football streaming packages that were previously available on Yahoo and Verizon. The deals with those carriers expired after last season. By going it alone in the streaming space, the league will be able to glean greater data on its viewers.

Amazon, Apple wait in the wings

But the new streaming service will remain separate from Sunday Ticket, the popular out-of-market pay service that delivers all NFL games every week. The Sunday Ticket package, which has run exclusively on DirecTV since 1994 on deals set to expire after the upcoming football season, is likely heading to either Amazon or Apple for more than $2 billion a year, according to multiple reports.

Amazon and Apple are also reportedly negotiating with the NFL to take an equity stake in NFL Media Properties, which runs the NFL Network, NFL.com, NFL Films, NFL Mobile, NFL Now and NFL RedZone services. Any deal would likely cover the new NFL Plus service as well.

The NFL Plus plans come after the league struck new agreements with five major media players last year to sell broadcast and pay-TV rights to NFL games for about $110 billion over 11 years. Under those deals, Fox, NBCUniversal, Disney, CBS parent Paramount and Amazon will all carry games each week, starting with the 2023 season.

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About the Author(s)

Alan Breznick

Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

Alan Breznick is a business editor and research analyst who has tracked the cable, broadband and video markets like an over-bred bloodhound for more than 20 years.

As a senior analyst at Light Reading's research arm, Heavy Reading, for six years, Alan authored numerous reports, columns, white papers and case studies, moderated dozens of webinars, and organized and hosted more than 15 -- count 'em --regional conferences on cable, broadband and IPTV technology topics. And all this while maintaining a summer job as an ostrich wrangler.

Before that, he was the founding editor of Light Reading Cable, transforming a monthly newsletter into a daily website. Prior to joining Light Reading, Alan was a broadband analyst for Kinetic Strategies and a contributing analyst for One Touch Intelligence.

He is based in the Toronto area, though is New York born and bred. Just ask, and he will take you on a power-walking tour of Manhattan, pointing out the tourist hotspots and the places that make up his personal timeline: The bench where he smoked his first pipe; the alley where he won his first fist fight. That kind of thing.

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