Earlier this year, we reported on the NFL’s plans to eliminate its free out-of-market and primetime streaming options on Yahoo! Sports and other apps and replace them with a paid service. Today, the “Shield” officially announced and launched NFL+, its first streaming service.
Fans can choose between a regular subscription for $4.99 per month, or get access to NFL+ Premium for $9.99 per month. What makes this better than previous free options is you’ll now be able to watch live in-market games instead of dealing with blackouts and restrictions. However, that’s the only benefit; for the most part, it’s still a bad deal.
That’s because while both NFL+ and Premium let you stream local or primetime games live (including the playoffs, Pro Bowl, and the Super Bowl), you can only use the app on smartphones or tablets—and that’s the catch. It’s not available on your TV.
Additionally, NFL+ offers streams of out-of-market preseason games for all you die-hard fans. As you can see above, there are two different tiers to choose from, but paying double doesn’t get you much.
Both plans come with live game audio for any game (home or away feeds) and access to the NFL’s expansive library of content, including old games, replays, and more, all ad-free. Then, NFL+ Premium also offers condensed games that only take around 45 minutes to watch once all the non-gameplay footage gets removed. This was previously provided with NFL Game Pass, which is no longer available.
We’re hoping that the NFL will integrate more games or nationally televised games into the app sometime in the future, but that’s doubtful. In 2021, the NFL signed a 7-10 year deal with its TV partners, which means those streaming rights are locked up for the foreseeable future.
Then, we still have DirecTV, the only way to watch every NFL game, but it’s expensive. It’s worth noting that the Sunday Ticket contract ends soon, and nearly every big name is trying to steal it from DirecTV. We’re talking about Apple, Google, Amazon, and others.
The 2022 NFL preseason kicks off on August 4th when the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Las Vegas Raiders. It’s a nationally televised game, so you can’t even watch it on the new NFL+ streaming service. Ouch!
All the apps that offered free NFL game streaming for the past several years no longer have access, and now, you’ll need to pay $4.99 per month for NFL Plus. It’s not the best, but at least it’s a step in the right direction for the NFL considering every other major sport offers a streaming service.