The National Football League now has its own streaming service.
Premiering Monday, the NFL is launching NFL+ for $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year.
A subscription will include all out-of-market preseason games, which was formerly only available with a subscription to NFL Game Pass for $99.99 per year. The NFL preseason kicks off Aug. 4 with the Jacksonville Jaguars facing the Las Vegas Raiders. Since that will be a nationally televised game, it won’t be featured on NFL+.
NFL+ will also include live mobile device access to local and prime-time regular season and postseason games, previously available for free on the Yahoo Sports app.
NFL+ marks the first time the NFL has operated its own streaming service, giving the league a new future platform to potentially show exclusive games. Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association already both sell subscriptions to their own streaming services that include out-of-market games.
NFL+ won’t initially include exclusive regular-season games but could eventually depending how viewership habits evolve in the years to come, said Hans Schroeder, executive vice president and chief operating officer of NFL Media. The league has locked up its local broadcast rights for the next seven to 11 years.
“It’s another option we’ll consider with all of our other options,” Schroeder said. “We are really excited about where NFL+ can go. As quickly as media and the sports distribution business continues to change and evolve, there are lots of different factors.”
The NFL is in the process of renewing its Sunday Ticket package and will choose a streaming partner, possibly Apple or Amazon, by the fall. That package costs about $300 per month and offers access to all out-of-market games on Sundays. DirecTV has owned Sunday Ticket rights since 1994 but isn’t bidding for the rights after the current contract runs out this season. The length of its new Sunday Ticket deal is still to be determined, but the league wants to give a new partner “the right runway to be successful,” said Schroeder in an interview.
Added NFL+ benefits
In addition to games, NFL+ will include NFL Network shows on demand and archived NFL Films programming.
For $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year, the NFL is also selling NFL+ Premium. That subscription includes full and condensed game replays and access to “All-22” film, a bird’s-eye view of the game that coaches use to see how all 22 players move in a given play.
“We look forward to continuing to grow NFL+ and deepening our relationship with fans across all ages and demographics, providing them access to a tremendous amount of NFL content, including the most valuable content in the media industry: live NFL games,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.
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Disclosure: NBC Sports, which shares parent NBCUniversal with CNBC, broadcasts NFL games.