Are you ready for some streaming football?
CBS All Access, the broadcaster's streaming and on-demand TV service that starts at $6 per month, will begin carrying live NFL football games beginning this Sunday, December 4. The deal, announced today by the NFL and CBS is a multi-year arrangement that gives All Access customers every "NFL on CBS" game broadcast in up to 150 respective local markets across the US, including regular season, preseason and postseason games. (Disclosure: CBS is the parent company of CNET.)
The deal to add the games removes a big restriction from the service, which -- until now -- had to black out live NFL coverage. Going forward, those games can now be watched using the CBS app on compatible home devices -- including Roku, Chromecast, Fire TV, Apple TV, and tablets (iPads, Android and Windows 10) -- just as they would on cable or satellite TV.
That said, one big caveat remains: NFL games on CBS All Access will continue to be blocked on mobile phones -- as are all NFL games on services like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue and DirecTV Now, regardless of the network televising the game. That's because Verizon Wireless retains a mobile exclusive on streaming the NFL to phones. (The exception to the rule: Twitter streams Thursday night games to all comers -- at least until the end of the 2016 season, when the current contract expires.)
The CBS/NFL deal comes one day after the official launch of DirecTV Now, the new multichannel Internet TV service from AT&T that lacks CBS networks entirely. DirecTV Now doesn't include the National Football League's NFL Network or NFL Red Zone channels, though its two competitors, Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, added both earlier this year. DirecTV Now also lacks the signature Sunday Ticket package found on its sibling satellite TV service.
A spokesperson for DirecTV now told CNET earlier this week that it's still in negotiations with the NFL to add programming.