Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered. The NFL continues to test the warning that Mark Cuban offered in 2014.
Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reports that the NFL will launch its own streaming service. It will be called NFL Plus.
The league is expected to sell the service for roughly $5 per month, but that could change.
Per Fischer, the service will focus on providing access to live games on mobile phones and tablet.
It’s not Sunday Ticket, however. Fans would be limited to the games they otherwise could see on local TV. Previously, Yahoo and some mobile phone carriers made those games available for streaming purposes.
Other content on NFL Plus will potentially include, via Fischer, “radio, podcasts, and miscellaneous team-created content.”
The challenge becomes getting someone to pay five bucks a month for access to games otherwise available to users via their current TV arrangements, whether it’s rabbit ears or cable or satellite or a streaming service. If they can see the games they otherwise would see on their TVs through other resources, why pay to get access directly from the NFL? And as to the other content on the NFL’s in-house service, there’s frankly so much free content out there that there’s no reason to pay for radio, podcasts, or whatever else will be created -- especially since everything created by the league and its teams has a baked-in bias that consists of excessive cheerleading and insufficient attention paid to issues that could make Big Shield and the franchises hiding behind it look bad.
Nine years ago, the NFL launched a free streaming service dubbed NFL Now. It’s apparently still around, but it never really developed much traction. Now, at a time when people already are spending a five bucks here and 10 bucks there and 15 bucks over there for content that is truly unique, why pay $5 a month for games that are available on TV and content that duplicates, at best, the content that can be gotten anywhere for zero dollars per month?
We’re not saying football fans shouldn’t buy it. We’re just wondering why they would.
And we’re also wondering whether, as the league sits only two years away from the one-decade-away implosion that Cuban predicted, the pig is teetering on finally becoming a full-blown hog.