When it comes to media, there is practically nothing that the NFL can’t do, and on Monday, the league took another step towards complete broadcasting domination with the launch of standalone streaming service NFL+. It was first reported that the football league was looking to launch its own subscription streamer back in May, and earlier this month, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed that the service would be available before the season began.
On Monday, the league made good on Goodell’s promise as the service officially launched with a pair of subscription tiers. The basic option will cost football fans $5 per month or $40 per year (currently $30 for a limited time), while the premium option — focused on fans looking for a more technical view of the games — will run $10 monthly and $80 annually.
“The 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 said. “We look forward to continuing to grow NFL+ and deepening our relationship with fans across all ages and demographics, providing them access to a tremendous amount of NFL content, including the most valuable content in the media industry: live NFL games.”
The lower-priced option will offer live local and primetime games on mobile devices and tablets, as well as out-of-market preseason games. The basic plan will also include radio broadcasts from both teams as well as archive content.
In addition to all of those features, the premium tier will also offer ad-free game replays — in both full and condensed versions — as well as coaches film and all-22 options, which allow fans to breakdown schemes, alignments, and individual plays.
This combines some of the previous features of NFL Game Pass, along with what was previously free on mobile devices and tablets via the NFL and Yahoo! Sports apps.
The mobile rights to games had previously been part of a deal that the league had with Verizon, but once that agreement expired, the NFL apparently decided that it could make more money by doing it themselves. NFL+ falls under the NFL Media umbrella along with NFL RedZone, NFL Network, and NFL.com. It has been reported that the league is looking to sell off a share of ownership in the enterprise, perhaps coupling it with rights to NFL Sunday Ticket.
While Apple and Amazon had long been considered the favorites to secure the valuable Sunday Ticket out-of-market package, over the weekend, reports emerged that Google had entered the discussions with plans to put the games on YouTube.
With the launch of NFL+ and the impending deal to move Sunday Ticket from DIRECTV, where it has lived since 1995, the NFL is marching into a new era of media rights, and if the league’s track record is any indication, it will be a very profitable one.
NFL+ allows fans to watch live local and primetime games on mobile and tablet devices. And with an NFL+ Premium subscription, you can watch replays of every single game without ads, condensed game replays, and coaches film. The service also allows fans to choose their audio stream (home, away, and national calls).
The service also allows users to watch out-of-market preseason games on any device. Users can also access NFL library programming ad-free.