TV Answer Man, I tried to watch the Dolphins last night against the Raiders on NFL Plus and it wouldn’t let me. How can that be? I thought NFL Plus had all the pre-season games? — Mike, Las Vegas.  

Mike, for readers not familiar with NFL Plus, it’s the league’s new mobile service (starts at $4.99 a month) that delivers live out-of-market pre-season games across all devices as well as live regular season or post-season in-market games on your phone or tablet, among other features.

Since the app’s launch late last month, there has been considerable confusion over which games you can watch and on which devices you can watch them. Compounding the confusion is that a significant number of NFL Plus subscribers say the app has been buggy, often failing to allow logins or switching from one game to another without explanation.

It’s not unusual for a new streaming service (or an old one in some cases) to experience technical glitches but it’s making a complicated situation even worse.

The biggest source of befuddlement seems to be over whether you can watch in-market games or out-of-market games. The reason behind the uncertainty is that NFL Plus’ pre-season games, such as last night’s Dolphins-Raiders game, are only available out of market while the only regular season games that will be available will be the ones airing on your local channels. (If you want out-of-market regular season games, you will need to get the NFL Sunday Ticket.)

For instance, Mike, since you live in Las Vegas, you couldn’t watch the Raiders-Dolphins game on NFL Plus last night because it was airing on one of your local channels (Fox 5 in Vegas). However, if the game was in regular season, and Fox 5 was airing it in Las Vegas, it would be available on NFL Plus.

Yes, I know. Confusing. But the league has designed NFL Plus to generate as much subscription revenue as possible without stepping on the toes of its other TV partners, such as Fox, CBS and DIRECTV (the current rights holder of the Sunday Ticket.)

And if you think you’re confused now, wait until the regular season when you will only be allowed to watch the NFL Plus games on mobile devices. (The pre-season games are available on connected TV devices such as Roku.)

Mike, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann