By Sahil Patel
Three days before its biggest event of the year, in the media capital of the world, the National Football League has announced plans for a “personalized” online video service that will offer everything but live games.
Called NFL Now, the ad-supported service will offer a variety of on-demand content from the league, including game highlights and extra videos from league properties like NFL.com, NFL Network, and NFL Films. In addition, the 32 NFL teams will also supply content shot on location at team facilities and on game-day.
NFL Now won’t only be a place for secondary content. At its press event in New York City, the league said it has plans to produce original programming for the service, though it didn’t specify exactly what that content would be.
Free, NFL Now will roll out in July, and will be live throughout the year, giving fans access to content in the offseason as well. The league also has plans for Now Plus, a subscription offering that will provide additional premium content and features. At its press event, the NFL did not disclose how much the subscription would be for.
On the personalization front, users will be able to modify their NFL Now experience based on preferences like favorite teams and fantasy players.
NFL Now will be available online, on mobile platforms like iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8, and even on the biggest screen of the house via Xbox One and other streaming devices.
The NFL’s announcement follows a similar one made by another “sports league” (quotes intentional) during CES. WWE plans to launch a SVOD offering called WWE Network, but that service has far greater ambitions than what the NFL has currently planned for NFL Now. WWE Network will not only offer library programming, but access to the company’s weekly TV shows and monthly PPV events, as well as various original and exclusive programming.