NFL fans looking to get their pro football fix without being connected to cable or satellite service will soon have a new option to watch games. As you might expect, however, there is a catch.
The new and improved Game Pass service will be available on several devices such as Apple TV, Xbox One and Xbox 360, in addition to mobile and desktop apps. Game Pass will replace Game Rewind, since it’s essentially providing the same service of all 256 NFL regular season games on-demand, after they air live on television.
And there’s the catch, if you were hoping this new product would allow you to watch live NFL games on devices other than your TV. Game Pass will make some live out-of-market preseason games available, but regular season and playoff games — and, of course, the Super Bowl — will not be available until after their live TV broadcasts. (The service will actually be offline during the Super Bowl telecast.) Sorry, cord cutters. This isn’t a replacement option for cable and satellite.
Yet if you’re willing to wait, every game will be available on-demand after being played. Sunday afternoon (1 p.m. ET) games will become available after all 4 p.m. games have concluded. Games played on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights (and Saturdays, later in the season) will be offered following their respective telecasts.
Among the other features Game Pass will include are a “Scores On/Off” option that will prevent results from being spoiled for late viewers (don’t check on your fantasy team), condensed games with 30 minutes worth of action, full high-definition replays of every NFL game going back to 2009, “All-22” and “EndZone” coaches’ film angles, and DVR controls. Some of these tools should be great fun for diehard football fans who really want to dissect and geek out on particular games.
Regarding Apple TV, this will be the first time NFL games are available on the device. Previously, the only option was the NFL Now channel which offered game highlights, news and historic videos, but no full games. (By the way, Apple TV will not have the NFL Sunday Ticket app.) Speculation is that the Game Pass service will launch on July 31, coinciding with the shuttering of Game Rewind.
No word yet on how much a subscription will cost viewers, but that will obviously have to be announced soon with Game Pass rolling out shortly.