Viacom’s free ad-supported streaming channel Pluto TV has a deal in place with the NFL for a new channel launching ahead of the 2019 regular season kickoff.
The NFL Channel includes library content from NFL Films and NFL Media along with programming such as previous seasons of the “Hard Knocks” series, team-specific season recaps dating back more than a decade and replays of NFL matchups.
Throughout the season the channel will get new content including NFL Top 100 Players of 2018 and digitally-produced recaps, previews and press conferences.
"We're very excited to open up our library of classic games and memorable NFL programming to football fans through our dedicated NFL Channel on Pluto TV," said Ross Ketover, senior executive of NFL Films, in a statement. "As we celebrate the NFL's 100th season, we know fans will enjoy discovering shows they may have missed, or reliving those unforgettable games and moments that make the NFL special."
The NFL Channel joins Pluto TV's lineup of more than 150 live, linear curated channels, and it arrives on an AVOD platform that has been rapidly growing its user base.
Earlier this month, Viacom disclosed that Pluto TV now has 18 million monthly active users, up from 12 million at the start of 2019. Viacom CFO Wade Davis said Pluto TV viewers are “overwhelmingly” watching on connected TVs, and that the connected TV cohort grew more than 400% year over year. Viacom has been building the content slate on Pluto TV—the service launched 28 new channels during the quarter—which is a contributing factor to user and engagement growth.
Pluto TV is also set to become part of a larger streaming service portfolio now that CBS and Viacom have officially announced plans to recombine. The combined company, which will be called ViacomCBS, said that CBS All Access, Showtime OTT and Pluto TV are all key parts of its direct-to-consumer strategy.