It's Super Bowl season, and the NFL is cashing in on the hype to talk up its latest project, a streaming video service they call NFL Now. Download the app, pick your teams and players, and get a personalized video stream any time you want — but if you want live games, you'll still need a TV.
The app, which will be available for iOS, Android, PCs, Xbox One, and various other platforms, was announced Thursday at a press event in New York. The idea is that NFL Now will be a second viewing platform, something football fans will want to turn on whenever there isn't a game.
Highlights from years past, games on demand, stats for fantasy leagues — all this can be yours, and for free, if you don't mind a few ads. But at this point, commercial breaks are practically part of the football experience.
If you do want to skip the ads, there will be an NFL Now Plus service, available for a monthly fee, that lets you watch uninterrupted and provides "premium content" — though it was not specified what that content would be. Free and paid tiers will include plenty of original content, the NFL assured the press.
The selling point, however, really appears to be the personalized stream. Don't like the Steelers? You won't see any Steelers news. Got Russell Wilson on your fantasy league, but don't favor the Seahawks? You'll get updates on Wilson but no other Seahawks highlights. It's so personalizable that conceivably, eventually no two people would receive the same stream, or at least so the NFL claims.
Is this a good play by the NFL, or is a video network without live games a bad call? We'll know more in July, when the service is slated to debut.