NFL’s Preseason Live package works out the kinks

When the 2014 preseason got rolling on Thursday night, a glitch arose.  Not at the games (unless the increased flags for illegal contact and defensive holding count as glitches), but through the NFL’s Preseason Live streaming service.

The relatively inexpensive package allows for fans to watch most preseason games live, subject to expanded blackout rules that divert the audience to broadcast channels to which they may not have access.  Both Twitter and the PFT emailbox erupted with complaints on Thursday, and the league conceded that the service “had a few hiccups.”  The NFL explained in an email to PFT that, for “the majority of our users, the service worked fine but a percentage were affected.”

“Majority” could be as low at 50.1 percent, which means that the unspecified “percentage” could be high.  Regardless, the situation improved significantly on Friday night.  By Saturday night, the league says the issues were completely resolved.

Feel free to share your own experiences in the comments, good or bad or completely unrelated to the topic at hand.

42 responses to “NFL’s Preseason Live package works out the kinks

  1. I had the best weekend ever, and it was getting my money back from this scam.

    I still got the watch my Minnesota Vikings destroy the Oakland Raiders on live TV for free.

    (Which they absolutely destroyed them)

    I also couldn’t get to any of the links for the pre-season games, and I wasted $20 on it before, because i’m an NFL Addict.

    I found out I could just watch the streamed games online for free, with better quality and easier to use, then a $20 service by NFL.Com – which should be easy to use since you’re paying all that money.

    I came up with this theory – If they make a paid service to hard to use, just get the free one, even if it’s illegally.

  2. Lol first of all why would you pay 1 penny to watch preseason games. Second, Gee there is a huge surprise. No way the NFL having technology glitches. They can’t even get technology right in their own stadiums.

  3. The fact that it took this long is astonishing. Games wouldn’t load. The video player wouldn’t load. You couldn’t switch games from the built in interface. Even if you signed in on the main website preseason live didn’t register you as signed in. That was an absolute mess…

  4. NFL Preseason live did not work for me Thursday night. I eventually gave up on it after halftime. I had to endure the Ravens/49ers game on NFL Network. Viewing Twitter it seemed like everyone else had the same problem.

  5. Paying for the preseason?

    I started to type something derogatory but I really don’t want to go that route. I will say that in buying a preseason package the message is likely received loud and clear by the NFL power structure that fans will pay for anything… regardless of value.

    You can record the game off NFL network and fast forward thru commercials and replays of unimportant plays. You can watch a game in a little over an hour, still see the rookies, still latch on to some stiff that you swear will be the next All Pro because they made one play, etc.

    I’m not sure there is that much value in seeing the game in real time. And it still bothers me that it doesn’t come as part of the NFL package I already pay for.

  6. My experience was that it streamed VERY poorly, buffering and stuttering every few seconds. And it was NOT due to my equipment or local network as I have Business class download speeds on my network. Hope it gets better. Worked better than this last year…

  7. I’m waiting for the day the NFL devises a way to hit those of us watching at home a PSL fee for our couch in the living room.

  8. It was atrocious! I’m out of area for my teams and it’s my only way to see how the young players are doing.

    PS, You can watch on a TV through Chromecast. Just cast your Chrome Browser to your TV.

  9. I bought the package and haven’t had one issue with it. I am a fantasy football nut so I am using this as kind of my “scouting combine” for the young bucks on each team that may deliver some fantasy gold each week.

    I am a bit confused on how anyone can say 20 bucks is “all that money”. Its just 20 bucks guys. I’d rather pay that then trying to do an illegal stream where your computer can get jacked up from virus/trojans/etc.

  10. I only wish that the NFL would offer an online viewing package for the regular season.

    I don’t watch TV and refuse to commit to a 2 year directv subscription only to watch the NFL from home.

    I would gladly pay the NFL directly the $250 directv charges for the package for the entire season. Instead, I just stream the games I want to watch live illegally. Good job NFL.

  11. thepftpoet says-(Which they absolutely destroyed them)
    if winning the game 10-6 is absolutely destroying then u are absolutely crazy lololol!!!

  12. I already paid for my NFL Sunday Ticket but I’m in Canada where they don’t have an exclusive deal with one company like they do with DirectTV in the U.S.

    My Eagles game wasn’t aired live in my area (Bills are my local team) so I just DVR’d the game on NFL Network. In fact, I’ve watched all the week one preseason games (Well the first 3 quarters!) this way and the remaining Eagles preseason games are being aired live on NFL Network. I’m not spending money on meaningless games.

  13. I thought $20 was better than one ticket, plus I could watch the games again later. Got home at 6:30 on Friday night and tried for an hour with two different browsers to pay for the service. Every time I got some crazy “error number 500, order cannot be processed” I got so pissed that I smashed my computer screen and keyboard…damn thing is 5 years old and 3 hard drives later, thought it was finally dead. Logged into my NFL account on my smartphone and tried to pay it there. Same error. Now I’ve got a broken computer and missed my game. Sure, my fault for the moment of rage, but DANG! Figured the NFL would have had this figured out. Wow! Ray Rice must be in charge.

  14. I picked it up on Friday before the games started because I wanted to watch the Eagles game. The start of the early games didn’t work until about 10 or 15 min after the games started but then everything worked fine. Overall I was pretty happy with it as you could instantly change between games and you have the choice of which teams broadcast team you want to listen too. It’s not too bad for $20 and you get to see all of the rookies play even if it isn’t the best quality of ball right now.

  15. I still got the watch my Minnesota Vikings destroy the Oakland Raiders on live TV for free.

    (Which they absolutely destroyed them)

    Pretty sad that the Vikes have been so bad for so long that their fans consider a 4 point victory in the first preseason game “absolutely destroying” an opposing team.

    As if the preseason means anything towards the regular season.

  16. Yep I had issues was watching Falcons game and at half time decided to check out another game, when I selected the game the app shut down then I restarted it and it said I was not subscribed. Did not get it back until about 5 mins left in 3 rd qtr. And in answer to thephinatic not all of us live in our home towns anymore and we can’t watch our teams, so yes we end up paying for it. I still don’t understand why preseason games are not part of the DIRECTV NFL package.

  17. mikeysoundtrack says: Aug 11, 2014 11:08 AM

    I only wish that the NFL would offer an online viewing package for the regular season.

    I don’t watch TV and refuse to commit to a 2 year directv subscription only to watch the NFL from home.

    I would gladly pay the NFL directly the $250 directv charges for the package for the entire season. Instead, I just stream the games I want to watch live illegally. Good job NFL.


    Maybe they only make it available to Canadian’s but when I checked out the prices for Preseason Live (I didn’t order it) there was an option for all 4 preseason games + regular season and playoffs for $249

  18. Yes paying for preseason does seem silly but for $20 its not that bad of a deal for a football junky. When working, the Preseason Live app on an iPad is great. You can navigate between games, pause, etc. It also offers, similar to the Rewind app, the ability to watch a replay of the full-game or condensed version (usually less than 40 minutes) the day after. I don’t have to watch commercials and I can bounce from several games.
    There were several issues though with the service for start of week 1 but they seemed to get worked out as the weekend progressed.

    For those mocking, $20 is a great price-point to watch the games from the comfort of your own home at your own pace. For me, as a resident in Chicago, far better than paying close to full regular season price to go have an “in-stadium” experience.

  19. Yeah, so I can’t get on a server when games are being broadcast live (not blacked out, just 503 error).

    Even for streaming rebroadcasts, unless it’s 3am each game errors out and needs to be refreshed at least once, and it doesn’t remember where you were at when you reload.

    Also, this isn’t new, but hitting the ffwd/rewind :10 button actually advances or rewinds it 5 seconds, not ten. Come on, how hard is that? On my tablet (but thankfully not on my PC), hitting the skip button actually takes longer to re-que than the amount of time it skips, making it useless.

    Oh, and I know it’s the preseason, but can’t you hire a guy to trim out the “COMMERCIAL BRB” dead air before you put it on the server?

    Some games have the “condensed” option, some do not.

    Still worth every penny 😀

  20. I’ve had it for the past three years now. Sure, there are some kinks from time to time but the functionality and quality blows away DirecTV’s online NFL package. Everybody has different levels of internet so that can change things for some. Love the fact that you watch the game when you want to watch it, all games archived. For $20, for the full preseason to get my football fix, perfect. I’ve got friends paying full price for preseason games that they end up giving to neighbhors.

  21. I’ve used the service for three years now, and this past weekend was by far the most bug ridden experience I’ve seen from them. I’m giving it one more week, then going back to finding free streaming somewhere else. If you’re charging for a service that you can’t provide, then give subscribers a refund.

    Also, please test this software out on something other than IE: game switching and pausing are abysmal on Chrome.

    Unfortunately, the “free” stream sites regularly get shut down by the FCC, and it’s really the best way for me to get to see the Eagles in South Florida.

  22. My game wasn’t available for 2 days. Then I kept getting a server message. For a big fan, fun to see your rookies get a lot of time. Plus there are some camp battles that are fun watching. If the stream works….

  23. FOX 32 Chicago SUX….1st 10 minutes included scrambled tire tracks in the middle of the screen…I think that was an interception?

  24. When they first started this you could still look at a preseason game throughout the regular season, which was nice when your team say, picked up a first year QB somebody waived. It’s the reason I don’t subscribe this year.

  25. Most people season ticket holders I know don’t even go to PreSeason games!! Waste of Money for 1/4 or less of the Starters.

    Yes us True / Die Hard fans love to see all those guys fighting for spots, and rookies to prove themselves.

    Hey FREE Streaming with ADs / Banners / Commercials should pay for the Service!!

    Why Charge?

    NFL is greedy!! Look at all the push to have a London team!! All about the $$$$!

    London Raiders now I can get use to that 🙂

  26. I was trying to watch the Titans game (against the Packers) in New Orleans, but NFL blacked out the game. There was no local broadcast or other (legal) way to watch the game.

    Enjoy my $20!

  27. thepftpoet says: Aug 11, 2014 10:40 AM

    I had the best weekend ever, and it was getting my money back from this scam.
    Your mom wouldn’t take you to the game?

  28. Yes,it was sketchy on Thurs/Fri but Sat was fine. Access to condensed game & replay on demand is well worth $20. U can spend that much on a frigging pizza delivery.

  29. Tried for 15 minutes to log in Friday to watch the Eagles game. Have used the service before, and while it is poor compared to Netflix, at least it worked. No luck, would not log in gave me the same server error.

    Tried to call tech support, line was busy.

    Emailed Tech Support, got this:

    Thank you for contacting us. This is an automated response confirming the receipt of your ticket. One of our agents will get back to you as soon as possible. For your records, the details of the ticket are listed below. When replying, please make sure that the ticket ID is kept in the subject line to ensure that your replies are tracked appropriately.

    Ticket ID: NDO-119-72314
    Subject: Lousy service and support
    Department: NFL Preseason Live
    Type: Issue
    Status: Open
    Priority: Normal

    Kind regards,

    Still no further action.

  30. Also, if I do not get a refund of at least $5.00 (assuming they fix the problem going forward) I will file a class action lawsuit against the NFL on behalf of all who paid and did not get to see the game.

  31. So you’re telling me that I can’t even watch PRESEASON GAMES online and I’m a season ticket holder?

    MORONS! this will be the last season I EVER buy tickets to!

    You stupid dumb idiots! Right now, I’m streaming NLF Network on Time4TV and they’re getting all the advertising money HAHAHA! IDIOTS!

  32. And now it’s no longer offered. You have to buy the whole season for $100. No thanks. Not since I already have Sunday Ticket. You’re losing money by being greedy.

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