The NFL is moving to offer its own streaming media platform.
The league announced that “NFL+” launched on Monday. Owners were told about it during league meetings in May, while Brian Rolapp, the NFL’s director of media and business, confirmed in a column for “Sports Illustrated” last week that he would start this season.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a phone interview with The Associated Press that the direct-to-consumer offering gives the league the ability to understand what fans and non-fans are looking for in terms of content and customize it for them.
“We think this is a big step forward. It will evolve, build and improve as more and more content becomes available on this platform. The work we’ve done with other offerings or research has helped us frame this in a way that we think would be very compelling and appeal to our fans.”
The launch of “NFL+” comes as 15 games Thursday night will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. The “Sunday Ticket” package of Sunday out-of-market games will currently expire at the end of this season. Amazon, Apple and Google have become the main candidates to take over the rights that DirecTV has had since 1994.
“NFL+” Will Let Fans Watch Out-of-Market Preseason Games On All Devices; local and national regular season and postseason games on mobile devices; National radio and team broadcasts, NFL Network on-demand shows along with the NFL Films archive. It could also include content produced by teams. It will be accessible through the NFL app and website.
It’s an upgrade to the “Game Pass” service that has been available to fans in the United States since 2015. The league began offering a package where fans could watch game replays online, appropriately called “Game Rewind,” in 2009. He began to gain favor with fans and analysts in 2012 when he added the coaches’ film, including two angles where all 22 players could be seen on the field.
The league has also offered out-of-market preseason games, either through a separate package or “Game Pass” in previous seasons.
The key to the package is live regular season and playoff games. The league regained the mobile rights after its contracts with mobile operators expired at the end of last season.
“NFL+” will be available for $4.99/month or $39.99/year. A premium package, which includes full and abridged game replays as well as the coaches movie, costs $9.99/month or $79.99/year. The “Game Pass” package was previously available for $100/year. “NFL+” will be part of the fans who purchase season tickets for their teams.
“We’ve been in the water with ‘Game Pass,’ but this is our next step forward,” said Hans Schroeder, executive vice president of NFL Media. “We think this will be attractive to fans and lower the monthly price for fans. There is an eye on future content in the future. We are excited to see where this can go this year and beyond.”
Goodell recently said the league expects to make a decision on the “Sunday Ticket” and possibly sell an equity stake in NFL Media properties by the end of the year.