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NBC Sports

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nbcsports.com

NBC is arguably the biggest network in the US when it comes to comprehensive sports action. NBC alongside ABC, Fox, and CBS is one of the four major networks in the country. While all the other three networks have their independent streaming service allowing them to navigate in the streaming market, NBC seems to be holding its own. Though it has an app, it doesn’t have a dedicated streaming platform such as CBS’s All Access.

Multiple ways to stream the channel

What’s amazing about NBC Sports is that you can consume its content across various devices via different service packs. You don’t need traditional equipment and bulky wiring, all you need is an internet connection and subscription to a major streaming service provider such as Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, AT&T Now or YouTube TV. If you have a subscription to any of these services, you can access NBC Sports without cable.

Cord-cutting doesn’t necessarily cut the access

Canceling cable is a tough choice as 90% of the US population still thrives on cable and satellite TV connections. However, if sports content is the main content bucket, you sure have a lot of alternatives. You don’t need to pay hefty $80-150 on a monthly basis to access NBC Sports and other channels.

Skinny Bundles – Most lucrative option

Skinny bundles are a great way to access NBC Sports. If you’re not familiar with them, let me shed some light. They have slimmed down packages featuring live channels primarily focusing on OTT content. Through these packages, you only pay for the content that matters to you without being tied down to a contract.

History

NBC Sports is owned and operated by NBC Sports Group division of NBC Universal which is owned by Comcast. Based in America, NBC providers sports broadcast on its network and is one of the leading national sports cable channels. Years ago, NBC Sports was part of the NBC news division and was tasked with airing a diverse range of sports such as NASCAR, the NFL, the NHL, the French Open, Olympic Games, English Premier League and Tour De France among many other events.

When Comcast acquired it in 2011, their own cable sports networks were aligned to NBC Sports and thus a new network was formed under the banner – NBC Sports Group.

Design

The simplicity of the search result is the first thing that caught my eye. Before even visiting the website, I saw the snippet with sports categories listed in the search engine. There were six major options – Watch, NHL, NFL, NBA, Soccer and NBC Sports Gold. This provided me a fair idea about what I should expect on the website. However, once I landed on the website, it took me some time to get used to the interface.

Since NBC Sports in itself is a massive network, there was too much going on the website. Let us dissect each of the sections and simplify the overall layout of the website. So, upon initial visit, the first thing that catches your eye is the menus in black and grey.

The black menu has 12 categories that include Watch, NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, Soccer, NCAA FB, Nascar, Motors, Golf, Olympics and More. Under that, there’s a grey menu that has specific options – Bet, Gold, Odds, Olympic Channel, USA, Rotor World, Tickets, Newsletters, Sports engine and a search bar.

Visually, these menus look decent and do not rub users the wrong way. As you scroll down, you get a quite haphazard hero section with lots of whitespace between the header and the schedule. Now, though I get that it’s the ad space, it does look off. After the schedule, there’s the main content section which is divided into four segments.

The first section which is the Watch Now section is the one on the left with options such as Live and Upcoming Events. In the second section, you’d usually find a video highlights of a recent sports action. Besides that, you’ll find a highlight section which is the combination of video and text content providing reports on upcoming games and also the ones that have been concluded. Finally, on the right, there’s a pure News section that has the top headlines followed by numerous titles which basically indicate the most read scoop of that particular day.

While I wasn’t too impressed with the homepage layout of NBC Sports, the inner pages did catch my attention for a few seconds. Aside from the poor ad placement, the slider banners on this page, in particular, looked user-friendly. The design and content placement didn’t hamper my browsing experience in any way.

Content

If you live in the US, chances are that you already watch most of the sports content on this network. It has no shortage of content as it covers not just international but even local NHL, MLB, and NBA team’s games. NBC Sports’ regional network is much better than any of its competitors because you get to catch up with all the local teams and stay up-to-date with what’s happening. It’s no surprise that two-thirds of RSNs are operated by NBC or Fox. The rest one third is run by local teams.

NBC Sports Gold

NBC Sports Gold is NBC Sports’ premium offering. I had to include it in the content section because this channel provides you live and on-demand coverage of major sports events. On top of that, you get support for multiple devices through this service.

An aspect I love the most about Sports Gold package is that it covers niche events such as figure skating which generally doesn’t have extensive coverage. Thus, if you want to watch local events and not so mainstream sports events, NBC Sports Gold service has you covered.

Having said that, there’s a slight catch. These packages though marketed as cost-effective aren’t actually affordable. Why? Because either you buy the entire sports package for a total of $115 or you pay for individual sports where a single sport such as rugby costs $69.99. (That’s too much. Isn’t it?).

Thus, NBC Sports seems affordable only when it comes as a part of a major streaming bundle such as Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, Fubo TV or AT&T Now. If you go to buy it individually, it’ll turn out to be an expensive affair.

Desktop/Mobile experience

I cut my cord nearly 2 years ago. Though I did have a decent viewing experience on the cable TV network, my streaming standards have grown so much since then. It’s funny how I didn’t have high expectations from cable networks and now I get infuriated when I don’t get quality coverage in high resolution.

Nonetheless, I stream NBC Sports via FuboTV. I’ve tried streaming it from Hulu + Live TV service as well. With each of these services, the streaming quality was satisfactory and I have nothing much to complain. I tried streaming the website on my iPhone X and it was a smooth experience.

NBC Live without cables

There’s a good amount of chance that you might be reading this review just for this particular section. Most of us who aren’t well-versed with IPTV or are purely reliant on streaming service have no clue as to how we can stream NBC Live without cables. If you have the same question then fear not because we have multiple solutions.

If you have one of the following services, you’ll probably have NBC Sports on it. If you’re looking to cut the cord and want to watch NBC Sports, make sure you only switch to the networks below:

    •  Hulu + Live TV
    • FuboTV
    • Sling TV
    • YouTube TV
    • AT&T Now

Compatibility

As far as the compatibility is concerned, you can stream the channel on your Mac or PC, Roku device, Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android and iOS devices, gaming consoles such as PlayStation 4.

Plans & Pricing

You can either pay $75 for NBC Gold or you can opt for other networks to stream the channel. That’s completely on you. Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV Fubo TV, AT&T Now, and YouTube TV have NBC Sports channel.

Suggestions I have for NBC

Instead of overpricing the service and turning the users away, why not start your own platform with inexpensive packages where users can pick the desired package?

Conclusion

NBC Sports is a must-have service for any sports lover across the US. You simply cannot do without this channel as it covers the best sports content in the country. The only thing I’d like to improve on the channel is their services and their customer relationship management.

Likes & Hates:
Compatibility with devices
Tie-ups with major streaming networks
Decent streaming quality
Expensive service
Bugs and poor quality on offer via the app
Poor customer service