Add the National Football League to content providers hoping you’ll shell out more cash for another streaming service with “plus” in the name.
NFL+ debuted Monday for $4.99 monthly and $39.99 a year.
A subscription gets you out-of-market preseason games. You’ll also get streaming access to local and prime-time regular season and postseason games.
A basic subscription also includes on-demand programming and access to the NFL’s film archives.
Upgrading to NFL+ Premium for $9.99 a month ($79.99 annually) gets you game replays and footage typically only available to coaches.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called the arrival of the streaming service “an important day in the history of the National Football League.”
“The passionate and dedicated football fans are the lifeblood of the NFL, and being able to reach and interact with them across multiple platforms is incredibly important to us,” he said in a statement.
This potentially is a good thing for both sports fans and non-fans.
For the former, there’s now a service to feed your football jones. For the latter, breaking off costly sports programming into independent services is a step toward lowering pay-TV bills for people who never watch ESPN or other sports providers.
The big question is whether consumers have an appetite for another streaming service (and more monthly fees) at a time of rising inflation and economic uncertainty.
Many analysts believe consumers are willing to sign up for three, maybe four, streaming services on a regular basis. Beyond that, choices are made.
Sign up for NFL+ but drop Hulu? Keep Disney+ but drop Netflix?
A shakeup in the streaming industry seems inevitable as content providers rush to lock in subscribers before the market grows even more crowded.
Ad-supported tiers such as the one Netflix is cooking up can lower monthly costs, but many people will balk at paying a monthly fee while also having to watch commercials.
For now, the Darwinian struggle continues among industry players.
Can I make a modest suggestion? Enough already with the “plus” monikers.
At this point, it all looks like me-too behavior — and a sign that streaming companies have no new ideas to offer.
That’s not a great way to win business.