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The NFL Wants to Become Even More Cord Cutting Friendly

After years of being difficult to watch as a cord cutter, the NFL is now easier to watch than ever; however, it seems that the NFL wants to become even easier for cord cutters to watch without paying for cable TV.

“Millennials basically watch everything on their mobile devices and don’t watch TV,” New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, chairman of the NFL’s broadcast committee, told USA TODAY Sports. “We’re exploring the best ways to connect with that.”

So how exactly does it plan to do that? It looks like the NFL wants to continue to partner with services such as Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon to bring NFL content to a new generation.

When talking about last years’ deal to stream Thursday Night NFL games on Twitter that averaged 266,000 viewers per game, Amanda Herald, NFL vice president of media strategy and business development said, “The audience definitely skewed a lot younger.” Herald went on to say, “It was even younger than expected.”

Last weeks’ Thursday Night NFL game was the first to be streamed on Amazon Prime Video. According to the NFL, an estimated 372,000 viewers watched an average of 55 minutes of the game and a total of 1.6 million customers initiated a stream and watched part of the game.

The NFL declined to go into detail on exactly what it plans to do to make the NFL more cord-cutting friendly, but it seems to want everyone to know that it is working on it.

Yet not everyone seems to be onboard with this idea yet. This year NBC has cut off its free stream of NFL Sunday Night Football. In the past it was free on Yahoo and on its own app but this year you need a pay-TV provider to access the stream.

So clearly there is still a ways to go, but the NFL has decided making NFL content more available via streaming is the best thing to do. Well, they don’t seem to have a plan yet the fact that they are talking about it is a huge step in the right direction.

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  • So far the NFL’s decisions seem to be more based on greed than giving the customers what they want. When I was on DirecTV all I wanted was to see my team but instead the only choice was all teams for a lot more money than I was willing to spend. Yes, MLB gives you all the teams too, but at least the streaming package is a reasonable price.

    • JerYnkFan

      MLB will allow you to just follow one team. Think it was about 25-30 bucks cheaper. Then again MLB.TV is like 120 where NFL Sunday ticket is way over 300.

      • Vegas Steve

        Exactly this. Figure out the cost per game and the NFL is HORRIBLE!

      • You’re right there is a “single team” option for MLB. The last I checked though, this option was more geared for mobile devices and didn’t have an HDTV option. I watch most of my games on my 4K Android-based (Sony) TV.

        • JerYnkFan

          Don’t remember the single non-HDTV option, but it was awhile ago when I looked at it. You are correct as everything the NFL does is based more on greed than caring about their customers. Unfortunately they are making money hand over fist so not likely to change anytime soon. I’ve been lucky enough to have friends that sub to Sunday Ticket and just gave the the price difference between regular Sunday Ticket and the Max which includes online streaming and I watch the games that way. Plus then you still have to get ESPN for Monday night games and either Amazon Prime or CBS all access for Thursday night games. Then throw in NBC package and you have to sub to like 4 different services to watch the games you want. Only other option is to get the NFL game pass for 99 bucks, but that includes no live games. Have to wait until games are over.

      • Phuq_Me

        MLB.TV has terrible blackout rules. I have family in davenport Iowa and they can not see ANY games from the following teams. I’m sure 90% of the people there are fans of one of those teams. and even if they are fan of another team when their team plays one of those 5 guess what, blacked out.

        Chicago White Sox
        St. Louis Cardinals
        Minnesota Twins
        Chicago Cubs
        Milwaukee Brewers

    • FranchisePlayer

      Even with, you are blacked out for local games. You pay for all teams but you don’t get them all. Even for the free game of the day, if it’s a local team that is under blackout rules, too bad you can’t watch it.

      T-Mobile has given away free subscriptions the last 2 years so that’s an option for those that use them.

  • Eric Landwehr

    This article is as vague as the NFL’s plans. How can you tease “NFL and Cord Cutting” without any reference to NFL Sunday Ticket? I know that DirecTV has us hostage, but a mention in this article and any potential work-arounds would have been nice. Don’t get me wrong, I love your site and reporting, Luke. I just think this “news” was a little misleading and hollow.

  • JustTIC


  • Michael Smith

    NBC Sports app blackout of NFL games should be addressed immediately by the NFL. It does not make sense to blackout games to an audience that most cannot receive the free OTA games. That is not a good business model in the long run.

    • Cooper McChester

      Yeah, blacking out a game that is free OTA is the highest level of stupidity. I would still watch it OTA but if I could only get it via stream then why should I not be able to watch

  • JGaLaXY

    well they pretty late to the party and has caused me a lot of headaches debating which streaming service to use to try to be able to watch them and their content lol. I would even pay a standalone $7 for NFL Network and Redzone a month but noooo lol

  • mr Dave

    I’m glad they are finally taking this seriously. Now I wish they’d just allow doubleheaders every Sunday on both CBS and FOX. And start night games either at 7:30 or 8pm.

  • I4giveSteelers

    definitely late to the party, and the only reason they are doing it now is because of pirates, supply and demand principle

  • beentheredonethat2

    I don’t care to watch when I see the Black Power Salute like 8 of the Browns did last game!

    • Iron Mike Tyson

      Its not a Black Power Salute idiot. These guys are protesting because of idiots like you.

    • Phuq_Me

      You just had to be THAT guy and turn everything political.

      • Cooper McChester

        You can”t escape the politic zombies. They are all fired up on Faux news or MSNBS walking around spewing diarrhea on every subject known to man. Absolutely mindless trained monkeys

    • Josh

      This coming from the right where you just had a senator who has advocated against abortion for 10 years just got caught demanding his mistress get rid if the baby. Funny how the right is always against something until it happens to them. O and he defended his stance on abortion by proclaiming to his mistress that he has to be against it to get elected and his staff writers tge the stuff not him.

      So yea I’m ok with black people kneeling for injustice while hypocrites stand for trampling on women’s rights.

      • FranchisePlayer

        Not to be disrespectful but the more you feed the trolls, the bigger they get. This site is not the place for politics. Block, downvote and mark as inappropriate then move on.

  • Respected Citizen

    Yes, putting Thursday Night Football and Sunday Night Football behind paywalls is exactly how you become cord-cutter friendly.

  • bobinc

    They wont be able to do anything useful until they dump their garbage exclusive deals and stop their random rolling blackouts.

    • Razzak Mondol

      if you want to watch NFL in excellent quality I recommend to you N F L H Q T V . C O M , excellent site with streams, news, highlights and much more. Try. You won’t regret! Ps. This NFL is available with no extra cost 😉

  • FranchisePlayer

    I can’t speak for NBA or NHL, but if the NFL is serious, they need to **not** follow MLB and their ridiculous blackout rules. The Sunday Ticket/RedZone package that Direct TV had should be available to anyone.

    Instead of only offering NFL GamePass outside of the US, make it available to everyone and not just videos no one watches and delays of games after they are over. Live games, ALL of them for ALL teams along with RZ. Sell that package for $25/mo and they will have a winner. They might could add RZ as a separate add-on for an additional $5 and they’d still do just fine.

  • Reasoner Too

    The NFL can KMA for all I care. No respect = No $$

  • Mister Wirez

    Verizon is the problem on mobile