In this day and age, streaming sports online is no longer a luxury, it's now considered a requirement. As fans get used to seeing sports on their smartphones and tablets, the networks are playing catchup in providing live events online. ESPN and NBC have been aggressive using their apps to provide live sports to the masses. CBS has just opened up its lineup in the past year allowing SEC football and college basketball games.
But when it comes to the NFL, the amount of games online has been growing at a snail's pace. NBC, ESPN and DirecTV stream their games, but only Sunday Night Football can be seen without the need to authenticate a cable or satellite subscription. The Super Bowl only began streaming in 2012 and NBC started providing an online feed of its Wild Card Saturday doubleheader just last year.
This year becomes a whole new ballgame for fans as NBC will once again allow fans to see its NFL playoff doubleheader on computers and tablets. CBS enters the online fray by providing online streams of the AFC playoffs on its website again for computers and tablets. For Fox, a network that has mostly shied away from providing online streams, it will put Super Bowl XLVIII on its website for all to see, but as for the NFC playoffs, that's a different story.
Starting this Sunday, Fox's online stream of the Wild Card and Divisional Playoffs plus the NFC Championship can only be accessed through its Fox Sports Go app and seen by authenticated subscribers of just a handful of cable providers that have agreements with the network. If you have an account with AT&T U-Verse, Cablevision's Optimum, Comcast's Xfinity, Midcontinent Communications, Suddenlink and Wow (or WideOpenWest), you're in luck. But if your account is with Bright House, DirecTV, Dish, Time Warner or another cable provider, you're on the outside looking in.
Why is Fox doing this while the other networks have shooed the authentication process? Fox has been going the "TV Everywhere" route, allowing their cable partners to share in the online experience. Fox's primetime shows can be accessed online through a Hulu Plus subscription account and not free unlike the other networks. An Awful Announcing request for a statement and subsequent interview from Fox on the streaming issue went unanswered.
So fans can still watch CBS' and NBC's games online without having to go through a sign-in process. But if the Fox authenticating experiment goes well, one could surmise that CBS and NBC might do something similar down the road. Authenticating can be confusing as proven with the first year of the CBS/Turner collaboration on the NCAA Tournament, a process that was streamlined for last year's event. But if done correctly, it can be a one-time process that provides plenty of access. However, it's only as good as your cable and satellite provider having a deal in place.
Streaming sports remains in a Wild West mode. Hopefully, there will be a set standard for accessing games online in the near future.
Hey Fox, even though I have direct TV in HD to watch the game. Your producers are stupid for not keeping up with CBS. Even if you stream games in the future with out authentication--- who cares. You made a dumbass mistake on this one. Get real and keep up with the time...
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Having gone through a couple of weekends of streaming playoff football, it sure seems like the future. We shut off our satellite a few months ago to save money so I've gone without football on tv.
Of course listening on the radio is fun, but Fox seems to even mess that up. Every Fox-broadcast game has the main radio stream blocked, so you have to go hunting. Generally search for the flagship stations of the teams playing and you can find the broadcast.
Also, while I applaud CBS, their online stream of the games has been awfully choppy. Even when I lower the quality to the lowest setting it will still freeze constantly and then skip ahead in the broadcast, so entire plays are missed. We have moderately fast internet which does Netflix and other online video without a hitch, so I'm not sure why the CBS streaming is so jittery. Plus, NBC's Wildcard games worked perfectly.
it seems to me that the fanbase should be able to right the ship of a wayward fox sports network, your time is money for them, choose how you spend it.
Glad I could find the radio feed. Useless Fox sports app works as well as their fake "news" station.
@Derry_London Thanks. Got it! I don't think I've ever been this excited to watch football.
Fox is the network that most visibly threatened to go cable-only if they didn't get their way with Aereo. They clearly care about nothing except the money, and squeezing as much of it out of cable providers as possible. We should be able to pull the feed directly from the broadcast signal - it would work much better at large scales (see: 2012 Olympic streaming issues) - but our current broadcast standard requires an optional poorly-supported kludge to do that and the big greedy media companies care too much about bleeding as much money as possible from the pockets of consumers by way of cable companies to let that happen.
"CBS has just opened up its lineup in the past year allowing SEC football and college basketball games." CBS has actually done that for years. They have added PGA Tour golf to their streaming, however.
I remember it was FOX that streamed the first ever college football game (San Jose State at Nebraska I believe; 2000 maybe?). That was when FOX was the most innovative brands in sports. Now it's ESPN with NBC close behind, with FOX just starting to at least be decent at all in that category (with a ways to go of course). Man, times have changed.
FOX is behind the 8 ball as far as streaming. Keep in mind, FOX doesnt have alot of providers for FOX Sports go yet.
Fox is the absolute worst. They should not be allowed anywhere near anything even remotely sports-related.
Time to move the NFC games to another network. ESPN should acquire the NFC for their ABC partners or TBS/TNT should think about it. FOX is way behind with their website & apps
@azmercer If you are watching on a PC, can you send link? I don't see the game available as an option. Only college basketball and UFC. Thanks