Amazon and Roku are officially on board as distribution partners for the National Football League’s soon-to-be-launched digital network NFL Now. That’s good news if you’re a football fan because it means there will be a lot more ways to watch NFL Now when it debuts in August that don’t include maxing out your mobile data plan.
When NFL Now was first announced, the League highlighted Verizon as a partner (and later Microsoft and Yahoo), and the ability for consumers to download the Verizon NFL Mobile app for video viewing over the company’s LTE network. Verizon plans to stream NFL Now content using multicast technology. However, while multicast streaming should mitigate bandwidth concerns on Verizon’s side, it presumably won’t lessen the impact on subscribers’ data plans. A few hours of mobile TV watching could easily take you right over your data cap.
As a reminder, here’s how NFL Now will work… now on Kindle Fire TV, Kindle Fire, and the Roku platform:
Available across Internet-connected devices, NFL Now will be personalized for each fan’s interests, allowing them to follow the NFL how they want, where they want, when they want. Users will indicate their favorite team, fantasy players and which videos they like and dislike. The content stream will dynamically personalize each user’s viewing experience to deliver a customizable news, analysis and highlights offering for NFL fans around the world. Additionally, NFL Now will provide users with access to the deepest vault of on-demand NFL video content available anywhere.
As for further distribution plans, the NFL also says that:
In addition to the above partner distribution channels, NFL Now will be made available for free to NFL fans worldwide on mobile and tablet devices through the NFL Now app (available across Windows, iOS and Android app stores), in the United States through NFL Mobile from Verizon, and on personal computers at nfl.com/now. As previously announced, Microsoft will also offer fans access to NFL Now as part of its NFL Plus app on Xbox and Surface tablets, and Yahoo will distribute NFL Now on the Yahoo Sports and Yahoo Screen sites and mobile applications.
Are those Windows/iOS/Android apps available to US customers who want to stream NFL Now to phones and tablets over Wi-FI? It’s decidedly unclear.