Fox Sports will serve up 101 live NFL games during the 2014-15 season on the web, the first time a broadcaster is making regular-season games available streamed over the Internet — but there are a few catches.
Gridiron fans must subscribe to a participating cable or telco TV provider to access the Fox Sports Go service; DirecTV and Dish Network customers are, for now, out of luck. Moreover, because of the league’s exclusive rights deal with Verizon Wireless the Fox Sports service won’t be available on mobile phones.
In addition, subscribers of participating pay-TV providers will only be able to livestream NFL games televised in their market. The games will be available on tablets through the Fox Sports Go app and on desktops at FoxSportsGo.com. The lineup includes 97 regular-season “NFL on Fox” games, along with four NFC playoff games.
The live-streams on Fox Sports Go will begin each week with “Fox NFL Sunday” pregame show (12-1 PM Eastern).
Pay-TV providers Fox Sports has deals with to offer the authenticated TV Everywhere service are: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, AT&T U-verse, Bright House, Cable One, Cablevision Systems, Cox Communications, Mediacom, Midcontinent Communications, Suddenlink and WideOpenWest. The purpose of restricting access to pay-TV operators is to make sure Fox can continue to negotiate retransmission fees — with the theory being that free access to TV would fuel cord-cutting.
The broadcaster first live-streamed NFL games during last season’s playoffs, and included a free “trial” view of Super Bowl XLVIII, in which the Seattle Seahawks soundly defeated the Denver Broncos 43-8.
Fox Sports’ TV Everywhere app also provides live coverage of some Major League Baseball, NBA, NCAA college football and basketball games, as well as NASCAR races and studio programming.