Streaming Sports is So Ripe for Disruption That it Hurts

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

I am a Green Bay Packers fan, but I live in Illinois, so there’s no way for me to watch all of their games on TV throughout the year. Fair enough, but then how do I watch all their games?

Well, the best option as far as I can tell is to subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket, which lets you watch most out-of-market games throughout the regular season. Sunday Ticket costs around $300 for the year, but make sure you pony up for the $400 one or you will only be able to watch on your phone 🤦🏻‍♂️

Now I mentioned that I get most games in Sunday Ticket, and I ran into that blocker this weekend when the Packers game was on Fox, but Xfinity was borked, so I could get seemingly every other channel, but Fox was basically static and a message from Xfinity to the effect of, “we can’t seem to carry this channel now, sorry.”

So I went to the Sunday Ticket app, but it also won’t let me watch it because it’s playing in my local market, so I get a big old “BLACKED OUT” banner over that game.

Then I hear a rumor that there is a Fox Sports app for the Apple TV I can get, sign in via my cable provider, and watch the in-market game from there…sometimes…maybe this week, and maybe the game you actually want to see.

The Fox Sports app did have the game I wanted to watch, and it was a good experience from there, but this really is crazy.

  1. Pay a cable provider to watch some games (or antenna if that works in your area)
  2. Pay NFL Sunday Ticket’s extreme price tag to get most, but not all games
  3. Gamble that some games will stream on the network’s sports app sometimes

This is all just really complicated and inconsistent, and reliant on luck in some cases. I know there are interest groups who don’t want this to change, but it’s crazy to me that I still can’t just pay $X per year and watch every game from any specific team I want. Seriously, if next season there was a deal where I could pay $200 and get to stream all 16 Packers games in the same place every week and with no blackout restrictions, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.