There may soon be yet another streaming service to add to your roster. The National Football League is said to be considering a platform of its own, dubbed NFL+, that will stream live games to smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
NFL+ could also provide access to radio, podcasts and team content, according to a new report, which claims teams were briefed on the plans at the annual NFL owners’ meeting that recently took place in Palm Beach, Florida.
NFL+ will bring live games to mobile
The NFL previously showed live games for free on mobile devices through a platform called NFL Mobile, while those using a tablet or laptop could access them through Yahoo. However, those partnership deals ended last year.
The League is now said to be planning its own streaming platform that will house all that content and more for around $5 a month. And other media partners — perhaps even Apple — could have a stake in it.
NFL plans new streaming platform
“The brand, NFL +, was included on slides viewed by a meeting of team presidents Sunday at The Breakers, the resort hosting the meetings,” reports The Athletic, citing a number of sources that couldn’t be named.
“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.”
NFL+ is said to be one of three media plans it is working on. Another is to find a new home for Sunday Ticket, which is currently claimed by DirecTV, but only for another year. The other is to sell a stake in NFL Media.
Sports media consultant Lee Berke told The Athletic that if a company like Apple or Amazon were to acquire that NFL Media stake, they could have a role in NFL+. “Right now, however, the trio of deals are moving on different tracks.”
Haven’t we been here before?
This wouldn’t be the first time the NFL has tried to aggregate content from all 32 teams into one site. It launched NFL Now nine years ago with similar ambitions, but it ultimately failed when teams resisted the content demands.
However, things are different now. Teams are already generating their own media content on a regular basis, so there would be plenty for NFL+ to pick from. But are its plans genuine, or just a ploy to attract new rights holders?
Patrick Crakes, a sports media consultant, told The Athletic that the NFL could be peddling the idea “to get Verizon to pay more” for a new licensing deal. We should find out as the 2022 season draws closer.