Looking to watch football on your phone this season? Be prepared to add another streaming service to your roster of subscriptions. On Monday the NFL announced NFL Plus, a $5-a-month service that allows fans in the US to watch live local and primetime games on phones and tablets.
These games include broadcasts of games that air on your local CBS, Fox and NBC stations during the regular season and playoffs including the Super Bowl. NFL Plus will also include all games airing on ESPN/ABC (Monday Night Football) or Amazon Prime Video (Thursday Night Football). NFL Network games are similarly included, though you can only watch them on phones (not tablets).
The new service, which also is available for $40 a year, will still be limited to viewing solely on a phone or tablet and will not work for cord-cutters looking to stream games on a bigger screen like a TV or computer. In addition to the base NFL Plus offering, the league is also adding a second tier it calls "NFL Plus Premium," which brings in additional features such as ad-free full and condensed game replays for $10 a month ($80 per year).
In the past, the league has had Verizon as a sponsor for mobile streaming but has recently given up the live streaming rights for mobile broadcasts. The telecom giant used to offer live streaming exclusively to those on its network, but In 2017 the league and Verizon expanded the streaming option to those using the Yahoo Sports app (which Verizon once owned) and the NFL mobile app, even if the subscriber wasn't a Verizon customer.
The launch of NFL Plus is the latest move as sports leagues continue to embrace streaming. Starting this season the NFL will be exclusively airing Thursday Night Football games on Amazon's Prime Video. Apple has inked deals with MLB and MLS to broadcast games exclusively on its Apple TV Plus service while NBC's Peacock has a similar deal with MLB for exclusive Sunday broadcasts.
Both Apple and Amazon have been heavily rumored to be the landing spot for NFL Sunday Ticket after an exclusive with DirecTV expires after the upcoming 2022 NFL season. Unlike NFL Plus, NFL Sunday Ticket includes every out-of-market NFL game that isn't airing on local TV every Sunday. Disney and Google have also been said to be interested in acquiring the NFL Sunday Ticket rights.
In a recent interview with CNBC NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league will announce its new Sunday Ticket partner "by the fall."