For the first time, a National Football League regular season game will be streamed live online for fans to watch for free — even without a cable subscription — when two AFC East rivals, the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, square off in crucial matchup that could go a long way toward determining the playoff hopes of both teams. Especially for Miami, who have a losing record this season..
But NFL fans will need to get up early on Sunday to watch the Jets vs. Dolphins game live online. The game is the first of the NFL’s 2015 International Series; three regular season games that will take place at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
That means the local start time of 2:30 p.m. on Sunday translates into 9:30 a.m. United States Eastern Daylight Time, 6:30 a.m. Pacific time.
Due largely to its staggering, $1.5 billion-per-year deal with DirectTV for the NFL Sunday Ticket package — a contract which just last October was extended through the year 2022 — as well as its billion-dollar annual agreements with mainstream networks, CBS, Fox, and NBC, the NFL has been highly protective of its relationship with the various TV providers, making NFL games the most scarcely available major sports events for live online viewing.
Some games are regularly available through online apps that require fans to log in with credentials from a cable or satellite provider. The NBC Sunday Night Football games can be viewed via the NBC Sports Live Extra app, and Monday Night Football streams weekly through the ESPN network’s WatchESPN app.
But both of those apps require users to prove that they already subscribe to a cable or satellite package.
Sunday’s Jets vs. Dolphins game, on the other hand, will stream live and for free to anyone who wants to watch. To find out how, see the info in the final paragraph of this article. The live stream webcast is the first of three scheduled for this season — a small step, but nonetheless a landmark for the NFL’s entry into the online streaming market.
Two of the three games will be streamed by CBS. A third, the October 25 London game between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars, will be streamed exclusively by Yahoo! who reportedly paid a $20 million rights fee to stream the single game — even though a matchup between the Bills and Jaguars is not exactly a marquee NFL matchup.
The Bills vs. Jaguars game will not be televised, except in the home markets of the two teams. Sunday’s Jets vs. Dolphins game — as well as the Thanksgiving Day game between the Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys — will be televised nationally by CBS, in addition to the live online streaming option.
As for Sunday’s game itself, with both teams competing in the AFC East against the seemingly unstoppable New England Patriots, Sunday’s game is a must-win for both. But for the Dolphins who come to London with a 1-2 record, a loss would likely put an early end to their playoff hopes — and maybe even to the job of Coach Joe Philbin, a prospect that seems to be very much on Philbin’s mind.
“Well, I’m the head coach of the team, and the way the team looks on the field ultimately ends with me,” said Philbin after the Dolphins were crushed 41-14 at home by Buffalo last week. “So far it’s three weeks, and it hasn’t been the type of football I envision us playing. So we got to take a look at everything.”
The Jets have started well with a 2-1 record, led by a strong defense anchored by All-Pro cornerback Darelle Revis, signed as a free agent from the Patriots in the offseason. But they need to defeat the Dolphins Sunday to have a hope of keeping pace with New England.
To watch the New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins game live online from Wembley Stadium in London, England, go to CBSSports.com at this link and click on the “Video” tab at the top of the page. The game will also stream through the CBS Sports app on mobile devices and on set-top boxes such as the Roku, Xbox and Apple TV.
[Mike Ehrmann / Alex Goodlett / Getty Images Sports]