Stand up and cheer, stomp your feet, and start clapping, because NBC just made Sunday Night Football a lot easier for mobile users to watch in 2018. While there's no guarantee the quality of games will improve, the accessibility of Sunday Night Football just opened up dramatically, thanks to a new deal between NBC and the NFL. Beginning next season, fans will be able to sing along with Carrie Underwood on their smartphones, as NBC will now stream SNF for football fans courtesy of the NBCU's TV Everywhere offering.
Previous to now, NBC Sports Digital users have been able to stream Sunday Night Football to their desktops, tablets and Smart TVs, but everyone can soon finally add mobile devices to the list beginning in the 2018 season. The lucrative deal also allows NBC to extend its authenticated streaming rights to its various telco partners, cable and satellite channels, and virtual MVPDs. Additionally, NBC states that both national and local advertising will appear on the mobile platform, and will be further extended per Verizon's deal made last week. (Watching local ads on a phone is going to be strange at times.)
The news that Verizon would have access to Sunday Night Football games was already stated last week, but NBC's announcement that it will get the rights to stream on its own platform is definitely good to hear as well. While NBC had much to say about its ability to air Sunday Night Football, the company did not say whether or not the NBC TV Everywhere offering included the ability to broadcast Thursday Night Football as well, which the network bought into this past season. Thursday Night Football was included in Verizon's acquisition deal, so the games will still air on mobile devices regardless, but it's possible NBC may not offer those games on its streaming regardless of whether or not the network is airing the games.
With NBC joining Verizon in streaming NFL games for mobile users, it will be increasingly harder for sports fans to have an excuse to miss a game. The only exception would seem to be out-of-market afternoon games, which are currently only streamable for AT&T and its NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers. Beyond those contests, 2018 could be the first year an NFL fan could follow the entire regular season from a mobile device, which is an exciting prospect for the future of the sport.
Sunday Night Football typically airs on NBC on Sunday nights at 8:30 p.m. ET, although it will not air on December 24, with the telecast flipping back to Saturday, December 23. For more on new upcoming programming in the final two weeks of 2017, head on over to our fall premiere guide. Those with their eyes set on 2018 can hop on over to our midseason premiere guide and plan their binging for the new year. Those curious as to which shows were unable to escape 2017 without cancellation can visit our cancellation guide and find out.