Sling TV Goes Live With NFL Network, RedZone10 Aug, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel
With the NFL preseason starting Aug. 11, Sling TV Aug. 10 announced it has gone live with NFL Network and NFL RedZone — heretofore mainstays of pay-TV.
Sling “Blue” subscribers ($25 monthly) automatically receive NFL Network, while NFL RedZone — which carries live game coverage whenever a team scores a touchdown or enters the opposing team’s 20-yard line — is available to Blue customers as part of the “Sports Extra” add-on pack for an additional $5 per month.
According to Nielsen, nearly 200 million people tuned into the 2015 NFL regular season, representing 78% of all television homes and 67% of potential viewers in the U.S. NFL games accounted for the top 25 and 46 of the 50 most-watched TV shows among all programming in 2015.
But bringing the NFL to over-the-top video has been a slow process. The main obstacle has been the NFL’s lengthy and lucrative broadcast agreements with pay-TV. CBS, which airs NFL broadcasts, has thus far unsuccessfully tried to bring games to its CBS All Access SVOD service.
That doesn’t mean the NFL isn’t looking for alternative distribution.
“We are constantly looking for new ways to make our content available to the millions of NFL fans,” Hans Schroeder, SVP of media strategy, business development and sales for the NFL, said in a statement about the Sling TV deal.
During the regular season, NFL Network — which is owned by the NFL — delivers exclusive “Thursday Night Football” games, “NFL GameDay Morning,” “A Football Life,” “Timeline,” and new morning show, “Good Morning Football,” which airs live weekday mornings from New York City.
The NFL Network features both live and delayed coverage of all 64 NFL preseason games. The preseason schedule kicks off with live coverage of the New England Patriots hosting the New Orleans Saints.
Sling TV subs will also have access to both NFL Network and NFL RedZone through Watch NFL Network this season, available on NFL.com, the NFL app across connected TV devices, and via NFL Mobile on Windows, iOS and Android devices.
“The addition of NFL Network and NFL RedZone means our NFL coverage is available across multiple networks on Sling TV,” said Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch.