NFL streaming service looks to take the field in July

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The NFL is already the king of the US sports world, can it do the same with streaming? It looks like we’re going to find out soon enough, as the professional football league is taking things a step further than having Thursday Night Football on Prime Video — launching its own streaming service, NFL Plus.

A report from Sports Business Journal says that the NFL is proceeding with NFL Plus, which had previously been rumored, with some of the details on the streaming service also being shared. First, NFL Plus is apparently going to launch in July (an exact date was not shared) and that the streaming service is expected to cost about $5 per month, though SBJ indicated that the pricing structure could still change.

As far as what NFL Plus is going to offer subscribers, the report says a subscription will give fans the ability to stream live games on mobile phones and tablets; according to Next TV, games available for streaming would be the same ones fans would get in their local market. Other content like radio, podcasts and team-crafted content are also possibilities.

Previously, NFL games could be watched on mobile devices through carriers and on tablets and laptops via Yahoo, but those deals have expired.

This service would be different than NFL Sunday Ticket, a cable service that gives subscribers the ability to watch out-of-market games.

Sports has been one of the biggest hopes for streaming services as they look for competitive advantages in a growing marketplace. Services like Paramount Plus and Peacock have been able to include live sports that their affiliated networks (CBS and NBC, respectively) cover as part of their programming, including the NFL, while Apple TV Plus (and Peacock) are streaming exclusive MLB games. As mentioned above, Prime Video also made a big splash when it landed the exclusive rights to the NFL’s Thursday Night Football.

However, this is the first instance of one of the four major US sports leagues (the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL) creating its own individual streaming service, though many of them do have services like NFL Sunday Ticket, i.e. NHL Center Ice, MLB.TV and NBA League Pass.

The 2022 NFL preseason is going to get underway in August, while the 2022 NFL regular season kicks off in September. It’ll be interesting to see if football fans add NFL Plus to their streaming roster for this upcoming season.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.