For cord-cutters who are also NFL fans, the 2018-2019 season is shaping up to be a very good year. Adjustments to existing deals and some new options mean that fans get their fill of live games — even if they don’t have a cable or satellite subscription.
So what’s happening?
For the second straight year, Amazon will stream “Thursday Night Football” online.
Verizon — which had been the exclusive mobile home for NFL games — gave up that right to allow it to stream games on all mobile devices through its Oath media properties. Verizon’s deal is a big one, spanning most in-market games, national games and playoff games.
At a media event Thursday, NFL executives noted that fans will have access to in-market games without authentication.
Even hardcore fans who demand out-of-market games have a cord-cutting-friendly option.
DirecTV, which has exclusive rights to out-of-market games through its “Sunday Ticket” package, is making the package available to select subscribers of its streaming service DirecTV Now.
Despite the many streaming options, NFL executives on Thursday remained noncommittal when pressed by reporters about whether a tech company like Amazon or Google could bid for NFL rights when they next come up.
Brian Rolapp, executive vice president, media for the NFL, told reporters the league remains bullish on TV, noting that to date, no tech company has been able to deliver a live sporting event with 25 million concurrent viewers. (A number the NFL achieves frequently each season.)
By 2020, when the deal renewals kick into high gear, the environment could shift.