NFL Moving Into The 'Plus' World With NFL+?

I imagine TV sports programming executives got a little nervous over the last few days. The NFL is considering starting its own streaming service, according to reports.

The idea was recently floated at a league/team meeting by an NFL executive. The service would include "games, radio, podcasts and team content."

TV network programmers may have been nervous before when the league started up a seemingly competitive media business -- cable TV channel The NFL Network -- back in 2003, when cable could still be considered a cutting-edge TV media technology.

The NFL Network has a largely supplemental source of NFL information and promotion for the league, mostly known for simulcasting the "Thursday Night Football" games with broadcast networks.

A premium streaming "plus" platform would not be the first effort for the league going the digital media route. One of the oldest is NFL Now, a free digital media platform. In addition, NFL streamed games can be accessed on the Yahoo Sports App.



A proposed NFL+ streaming service would move in a different direction -- with a $5-a-month price tag. That signals a premium service, which in turn could mean that live TV game content could be featured.

This comes on the heels of last year's mega 11-year deals with TV networks that totaled a stratospheric $100 billion in sports rights fees -- deals that also allow TV networks to air live games on their own streaming platforms.

So... does this mean the NFL may be considering even more expansion again?

Oh yeah. As one of the rare genres of TV content -- live or otherwise -- on the TV screen that has seen ratings improvements in recent years, one can understand why the NFL needs to rush for bigger gains into the streaming world, which keeps expanding.

But can content shift around? Generally, this has been done before. When HBO Max was about to start up, it wanted "Friends" episodes back from Netflix. Ditto that for Peacock, which before launch took back "The Office," and also Netflix.

Perhaps the NFL really just wants a bigger overall investment deal -- from Amazon, Apple or another big digital media entity with lots of cash to spend.

The league's "NFL Sunday Ticket" -- its package of out-of-market games for subscribers -- is seeking a new long-term deal, along with investment in its NFL Media unit, which includes The NFL Network.

The rich look to get richer.

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