The NFL continues to tackle the digital shift as the football league is preparing to create its own “NFL+” subscription streaming service, according to a new report from Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic. During this year’s NFL owners’ meeting, the idea of a future streaming platform, which “would include games, radio, podcasts, and team content,” was discussed, from the report:
The brand, NFL +, was included on slides viewed by a meeting of team presidents Sunday at The Breakers, the resort hosting the meetings. The streaming service is nascent, and likely won’t be ready for an owners’ vote until the next meeting in May, said one team president, who requested anonymity because the plans are still developing.
The owners haven’t finalized the price of the service with The Athletic reporting, “the price on the slides presented to team owners was $5 a month, though a team president cautioned that number is more hypothetical.”
Scoring the NFL’s Digital Rights
The NFL has not been shy about the importance streaming will be in their future media deals. The league wants to transition NFL Sunday Ticket away from DirecTV and make it “a streaming product” when their current deal concludes at the end of the upcoming season. Many suitors are trying to get a slice of the pie, as traditional media and tech giants compete to acquire the streaming rights to Sunday Ticket.
Introducing an NFL+ streaming service could be the league’s way of driving the price up for companies looking to bid on the league’s streaming rights. After Verizon lost exclusive rights to stream NFL games on mobile devices back in 2017, the future of those rights is still up in the air. Apple has reportedly been in talks with the league to bundle mobile live games rights, Sunday Ticket, and NFL Media in a potential massive rights deal.
Amazon is also interested in acquiring Sunday Ticket and has been the favorite of landing a 49% stake in NFL Media, however, an NFL+ subscription service could change that. NFL Commissioner Rodger Gooddell has stated in the past that Sunday Ticket “might” be included in a future NFL Media sale. If Amazon is able to acquire the rights then this would be a gamechanger for the platform, which recently beefed up its Thursday Night Football broadcasts.
As of now, NFL Game Pass is the league’s premier subscription service, which allows cord cutters to watch pre-recorded games, interviews with players and coaches, NFL Originals, and more for a low price of $99.99 for the entire season, and $9.99 for the offseason. Fans aren’t able to watch live games on NFL Game Pass, but it may be possible on the future NFL+ whenever it launches.
All 32 teams can be found on Game Pass, but it’s unclear if that would be the case on NFL+. An unidentified team president told The Athletic, that it hasn’t been decided if the league’s 32 teams will “have content on the new channel, or would they have their own.”
With the next owners’ meeting taking place within the next 60 days, fans may find out if the final developments on NFL+ will cross the pylon to a screen near you.