Catering to a TV-viewing audience that increasingly watches on a variety of connected devices, including mobile phones and tablets, CBS has announced plans to live-stream coverage of two regular-season NFL games for the first time. In addition, the network will also live-stream four playoff games and Super Bowl 50 from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
The streaming coverage will be available on a number of platforms, including on desktops, laptops, and tablets at CBSSports.com, and through connected TV devices like the Xbox One, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku Players and Roku TVs.
Streaming is also available to Verizon customers on phones through NFL Mobile. [Disclosure: Verizon owns AOL/TechCrunch.]
These games will be streamed in real time, and will not require users to authenticate using their account information from a cable or satellite TV provider, notes the network. That means they’re available to people who don’t pay for television through traditional means. Today’s TV viewers often use things like digital antennas to capture signals over-the-air for free, or watch “TV” through streaming services like those from Netflix or Amazon instead of opting for pricey cable TV packages.
The games’ live streams begin with the national broadcast of the New York Jets-Miami Dolphins game on October 4th at 9:30 AM ET, and will be followed by the Carolina-Dallas game on November 26th, 4:30 PM ET. That latter item will also be the first time CBS has broadcast the Thanksgiving Day game through live streaming, which is something of a notable step in terms of making NFL games more broadly accessible to the cord-cutting audience.
In addition, CBS notes that all AFC playoff coverage will be streamed again this year, including the Wild Card, Divisional and Championship games. And the Super Bowl stream will be broadcast on Sunday, Feb. 7th.
The expanded schedule of NFL live streams isn’t the only good news football fans have had in recent days. The NFL channel on the Apple TV also received a major update at the end of August which added the new Game Pass feature for football fans. The NFL was teasing the forthcoming upgrade back in July, noting at the time that Apple TV support was in the works for the revamped service.
This service now offers both live and on-demand preseason games, for the first time, plus highlights, access to NFL games dating back to 2009, news and more. Game Pass subscribers ($99.99 for access through July 31, 2016) can also watch on-demand regular season, playoff and Super Bowl games after they air on television.