Few sports get fans more excited than American Football. And when it comes to football, of course, there is no other league that comes anywhere near stoking the level of excitement and devotion that the NFL does. There is nothing quite like going to the bar to catch the game with your friends. Have a pint, order some wings, and root for your favorite team. It doesn’t get any better than that.
However, we can’t always catch the game. Unfortunately, we all have lives outside of watching football. All of the less important stuff – like work, family, significant others – can all get in the way. If you have ever had to miss out on the game, you know what a terrible feeling it can be. Especially given the fact that the games are aired live, and short of DVR-ing it for when you get home, it can be very difficult to find a recording of the games you want to see if you can’t watch them play out in real-time.
Luckily, though, the NFL has provided a solution to this all too common problem. Thanks to NFL Game Pass, you never have to miss a game again. Well, let me rephrase … you may still miss the game, but if you do, NFL Game Pass now makes it easier than ever for you to catch it after it airs. It is the perfect companion for any busy NFL fan. Just because you missed the game does not mean that you have to miss the game entirely.
Why bother with catching up on the highlights on ESPN when you can just watch the game when you get off work or you finish taking your girlfriend out for a night on the town? Simply select from a massive archive of prerecorded games and make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the action with NFL Game Pass!
Believe it or not, the NFL (on their official website), once upon a time, used to offer free streams of games after they’d been aired. In 2002, though, the league began to realize that they were missing out on a lot of potential profits. And if the NFL knows one thing (after football) it’s how to make billions of dollars!
2002 was also the year that the internet radio bust went into full effect. And this prompted the league to join in on the Real One Super Pass system – a subscription service that used to provide audio broadcasts of the games on demand for a fee. The NFL, of course, no longer is a part of Real One … but this move did lead the entity to create something similar (albeit much better) for itself.
NFL Audio Pass was created, which broadcast online audio of all NFL live games after they had occurred. This feature was simply rolled into the list of services when the league launched NFL Game Pass – an all in one online video and audio streaming platform. Today, NFL Game Pass functions similarly … you can watch (or listen to) any NFL season game as soon as its live broadcast has come to an end. At least that is the case for North American subscribers. Elsewhere, users can stream season games live. For North Americans, however, you can only view live preseason games, due to contractual complications with several big cable networks.
When I think of NFL Game Pass’s design, the first word that comes to mind is “adequate.” There is nothing overly impressive about the way this service is laid out. In fact, some might call its design quite lazy. All you will get is a black background with a somewhat primitive interface – choose the games to your left, view the game to your right (obviously switch to full-screen if you so desire), and see stats at the bottom.
On second thought, maybe “lazy” isn’t a fair assessment of NFL Game Pass’s design. Perhaps “spartan” comes closer to an accurate depiction. It is, however, very easy to use and requires little to no learning curve to browse it like a pro. So, if you are the kind of person who doesn’t care about a service offering a sleek appearance or any experientially based bells and whistles, you probably won’t be bothered by NFL Game Pass’s design one bit.
But if you are like me and you truly appreciate exquisite web design, NFL Game Pass might leave a bit to be desired. That being said, it certainly gets the job done. And if you are a serious football fan, chances are you don’t care about much beyond gaining access to the games and the stats as quickly as possible. So, it might be fair to say that NFL Game Pass is built perfectly for simply plugging its users directly into what they want – games, highlights, and stats … and it does so very effectively.
This is where NFL Game Pass starts to really get interesting, in my opinion. It would be one thing if this service simply offered previously aired games and stats, but it goes above and beyond. Users will also be able to view condensed versions of games, which have been distilled down to around 40 minutes apiece, giving you only the action … none of the waiting around, none of the half time nonsense – just the heaviest hitting moments. Again, for the NFL fan on the go, Game Pass is a must-have.
There are ways, however, for fans to tune into live games. Although you won’t be able to watch any of the games as they occur, you can listen to their audio by streaming it through the app or site. And as any superfan knows, anything is better than nothing when it comes to keeping up with a big game.
There are some exciting bonus features as well that NFL Game Pass has to offer. One of my favorites is the fact that users can view previously exclusive coach and player commentary on play reels. This is especially useful for any fantasy footballers out there … break down famous plays and games, down by down, with the most knowledgeable players and coaches explaining every step of the way. Plus, enjoy a robust archive of some of the most legendary games in the history of the NFL any time of the day, any day of the year. This service is certainly not lacking when it comes to features.
Desktop and Mobile Experience
NFL Game Pass seems to work consistently well on any device. Stream content on your laptop, desktop computer, phone, tablet, Roku, or smart TV with no problems. The interface, user-friendliness, and design are all the same no matter where you want to access your content.
Pricing and Plans
One thing that NFL Game Pass offers that is extremely rare in the world of sports streaming services is a free trial period. This is probably possible due to the fact that it only streams games after they have aired live, which means that people aren’t able to sign up for the service to watch a single game for free and then cancel. So, there is really nothing to lose if you are even the slightest bit curious about whether NFL Game Pass is right for you … try it out for a week and see if you like it!
Once you do decide to continue your subscription with NFL Game Pass, it will run you $24.95 a month, with the ability to cancel any time. As far as streaming services go, this is not exactly cheap. And when you consider the fact that it does not offer live games, it starts to look even more expensive. So, it might be better suited for serious football fanatics and hardcore fantasy football players. But, as I said, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try for that initial trial period at the very least.
Suggestions that I have for NFL Game Pass
Well, for one thing, I would like to see the price go down. Given the content that it does provide, I think that $15/month would be a much more suitable subscription fee. Unless, of course, NFL Game Pass starts airing at least an occasional live in-season game. That could make the current price worth it.
All in all, if you are a huge football fan, you will probably want to at least consider trying the free trial of NFL Game Pass. That being said, I have a feeling that only the most devoted NFL fans will be willing to pay $25/month for the very niche features this service offers.