Verizon Kills Free NFL Mobile, Now Charging $5 per Month

Last year when Verizon was heavily promoting its new 4G LTE network, football fans who bought new smartphones that used the network got a great benefit: Free access to Verizon’s NFL Moble app and its limited schedule of live coverage, including Thursday night, Sunday night and Monday night games.

But without any fanfare — and without any visible information, until you load the app and try to watch a game — Verizon is now charging $5 per month to watch live games, according to the splash screen that greeted me when I tried to watch some preseason action Saturday night while my daughter was monopolizing the TV in the living room.

Though Verizon paid a bundle for rights to mobile access to NFL games, I will bet anyone a pint that it’s a contract that won’t be renewed whenever it comes due. From what we have seen so far it’s pretty obvious that the NFL is moving in a baseball direction, with its new watch online packages looking a lot like the MLB.com packages that make baseball hundreds of millions each year.

Though you will need a Verizon contract to watch games on a mobile/cellular device this season, we expect that by 2013 there will be a much wider range of options to watch NFL games online or via cellular devices — and they will likely cost a lot more than $5 a month, so we’re not going to bellyache too much here (though reviewers on the App Storses are already po’d). But it would be nice if Verizon was more honest and put the $5 per month charge somewhere folks could see it. The app may be free to download, but don’t be fooled. Your days of free NFL on mobile devices is over.

Comments

  1. Larry Enroth says

    Verizon prepaid plans have the app but you cannot pay the $5.00 fee and watch the games.
    they did not bother to tell you that when you signed up.

  2. anything to make a dollar!!!! COME ON MAN!!!!!!!!!

  3. I don’t understand why Verizon prepaid customers can’t pay the extra 5 bucks per month to purchase NFL premium. It’s not fair. Hopeful that when Verizon’s contract with nfl runs out, NFL will make it’s services available to all carriers including prepaid, especially when your enrolled in auto pay for your account. NFL is losing lots of money because of Verizon’s decision to not allow prepaid customers to purchase NFL premium.

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