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Pluto TV, NFL ink new deal for football content

The ViacomCBS-owned streaming service will keep a variant of the NFL Channel on their service and add new content over time.

The ViacomCBS-owned streaming service will keep a variant of the NFL Channel on their service and add new content over time.

(Image: ViacomCBS/Handout)

Free streaming service Pluto TV has reached a multi-year deal with the National Football League to keep the NFL Channel on its linear video platform while adding new content from NFL Films and other media libraries, the companies announced on Thursday.

In a press release, Pluto TV‘s parent company ViacomCBS said the NFL Channel would also stream press conferences, game previews and other content to the service’s 22 million monthly active users.

The agreement extends an earlier one reached between the two companies last year. News of the extension was first reported Thursday afternoon by the media industry blog The Streamable.

“NFL fans enjoy having access to our classic games and programming year-round,” NFL executive Jesse Wallace said in a statement. “We’re proud to give Pluto viewers access to more exciting content from their favorite teams and players.”

The timing could not be better: Traditional sports broadcasters, including ESPN and NBC Sports, have struggled to fill programming in the absence of major league sports games brought on by the COVID-19 health pandemic.  NFL games are scheduled to start in mid-September, but those, too, could be delayed.

The agreement between Pluto TV and the NFL means football fans will have something free to watch 24-hours a day, 7 days a week with limited programming repeats.

“For the many avid football fans that are part of Pluto TV’s audience, having year-long access to NFL content beyond the regular season is priceless,” Pluto TV executive Jeff Shultz said. “With an incredible lineup of award-winning programming, alongside some of the most memorable highlights, replays and match-ups of the past decade, we are excited to be able to offer this evergreen content to our viewers, no matter the season.”

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).