NFL’s new Game Pass sputters for preseason games

The NFL previously sold online access to TV feeds of live preseason games, recorded video of regular-season and postseason games, and live audio of all games as separate packages. This year, the NFL bundled the three products into one package, for a lump-sum cost of $99.99.

Setting aside for now the concerns expressed by some PFT readers who wanted only the preseason games for $19.99 not the whole thing for $80 more, the product currently hasn’t been working for plenty of subscribers.

I’m one of them; after signing up last night for the free 7-day trial with credit card numbers provided for activation in a week, I was able to watch up to four games at once. It was great, despite the meaningless nature of the games.

Tonight, I initially had no access. It’s obvious from the NFL’s Game Pass Twitter account that many others were having the same issue.

The problem, for me, has recently resolved. But if the NFL hopes to attract people to pay $100 for a bundle of three different products that inexplicably can’t be bought separately (somewhere, the antitrust lawsuit already is being drafted), it’s important that logging in to watch games be as easy as turning on a TV.

39 responses to “NFL’s new Game Pass sputters for preseason games

  1. I can’t begin to describe my frustration with this service. It worked quite well when we were living overseas, as did Rewind last year when we returned.

    The worst part about it is the lack of support. During the live chat, questions were ignored. Most of my emails have gone unanswered; the two which were answered were nothing more than perfunctory replies.

    In this day in age, there is no shortage of talented folks and capable companies who could have been engaged to make this work. That Park Avenue could not get this right seems to be another symptom of the woes afflicting the League under Goodell’s stewardship.

    Hopefully by pre-season Week 2, they’ll have this working. But as we all know, hope is a weak excuse for an actual plan.

  2. What the heck was wrong with preseason live? People bought it, they made money…I won’t buy the 99 version because I don’t need to rewind the games I have already bought with NFL Sunday ticket. Greed has ruined a great product. Here is to hoping that preseason live as an individual product returns for pass sucks.

  3. The NFL need pay-per-view!!!! I’m a New York fan that resides in Florida. if I can but a May/Pac fight, I would buy a team I support game. think about it! But that would probably eat into that Sunday ticket crap.

  4. Yes, it stinks that they combined the pre-season and regular season package. No way I’m spending the $100 when I’m already buying the Ticket. Very disappointing.

  5. Just make sure to check your card next year. Apparently, they reserve the right to charge you… again.. next year even though you don’t ask for it.

    That’s a very dangerous program…

    … and good luck asking for your cash back.

  6. They’re going the wrong direction if they want to increase their income.

    A few short years ago, one could pay a nominal fee to watch your favorite team. They decided to do away with that, making you pay for the entire regular season for all teams. Now they’re trying to package the whole she-bang?

    I spent 15 minutes just trying to find out the price this year. It’s not listed anywhere unless you actually take the free trial from what I can tell.

    I passed on Game Pass.

  7. The NFL has also lied the past few years when it was called Rewind. They said the Sunday night game would be available within three hours of finishing and not once in the last two years was it ever that quick (I’m on the West Coast so I can watch it if I stay up late). It was always more like 4 hours. It’s a small point but one wonders why the NFL needed to outright false advertise.

  8. I tried this last season and couldn’t even select the games I wanted. I immediately called and cancelled and got my money back.

    If you’re going to charge for something at least let us choose what we want to see.

  9. I wanted to talk with the chat log on, they place me on hold, after 20 minute I gave up, then I tried on 3 occasions to call there number, each time I was place on hold, each time I gave up after 10-12 minutes, perhaps there PSI went flat on customer service. Bill

  10. Hmmm… Mine has been flawless for 2 days.

    Those of us who had game rewind were offered the whole package “early bird” for $69.99

  11. This is fantastic!

    I was a Game Rewind subscriber myself, and my card was charged its requisite 20 dollars a year not 3 months ago.

    But wait, theres more!!!

    Not 1 week ago, the NFL(who holds my credit card information) decides to sign me up for NFL Game Pass, and charges my card, an addition 100 dollars a year, without any prompt or permission, and I am currently enjoying NFL Game Pass.

    True Story. I didnt even know what NFL Game Pass was, and I already had paid 100 dollars for it. Even though it was overlapping the 20 dollar a year service in which I had already paid for the exact same product.

    Well played NFL. Enjoy your new stadium I also paid for…


  12. They lost me as a subscriber. I think I paid around $35 for the regular season game pass. I only watch seahawk preseason games and I watch all the post-season games live, so gamepass for the regular season is all most every fan needs, and that’s only worth at most $40, not $99.

  13. It’s bad enough that regular season games have become pay tv. Having to pay for preseason is just obscene.

  14. Yep, I wasted over an hour yesterday trying to make it work and then trying to cancel it. Emailed support over 24 hours ago. No response yet. Pretty irritating.

  15. I was hoping to stream live games to my iPad then to my TV via Chromecast. But streaming is “unavailable” in my part of NY. Which is only 1hr north of NYC. It sucks. I just want to be able to buy a season pass. You know, like I can WITH EVERY OTHER MAJOR SPORT.

  16. I heard a lot of people were having issues. I was able to sign on after three tries and had no issues watching the whole Bengals/Giants game.

  17. Y’all know there are websites that show every profession sporting event LIVE with no account setups or anything, right? Just click the event you want and BOOM!

  18. Why would anybody pay good money to watch preseason games,and whats more appalling is to pay to watch preseason games of teams other than the one you are a fan of. I guess drugs arent the only addictive thing around,the NFL is pretty addicting too it seems.

  19. 1st of all Thursday night it worked fine.

    And the Sunday games are to be available as soon as the 4pm game concludes. For 99 dollars what’s not to like? I’ve canned DTV at $300 and I’ll wait a few hrs to watch the game OnDemand at 7:30 PM EST.

  20. When is the media going to criticize NFL Network’s preseason handling of doubleheaders?

    On Thursday night, NFLN had Packers v Patriots followed by Chargers v Cowboys. When the second game started, the first game was in the 4th quarter, but NFLN didn’t switch.

    Most of us outside of the home teams’ market would much rather see the opening series of a game (since it is the only time the starters play) instead of watching who will pull out a win in the 4th quarter of a preseason game because no one really cares about who actually wins (and Packers v Patriots wasn’t even close!).

    NFL NETWORK: We want to see the starters, not the third (and fourth and fifth) stringers!

  21. The NFL laughs at how incredibly dumb its customers are. Voluntarily paying for preseason? You all know the games are on for free 12 hours later on nfln don’t you?

  22. The NFL needs to stop with the Field of Dreams “Build it and they will come” business model. There is a bubble point on the popularity of anything and, if the league keeps treating its’ paying customers like crap that bubble will explode leaving the league, and the players, wondering just what the hell happened.

  23. And this is why people use other means….

    For a business that’s so lucrative, the NFL is the LEAST media-savvy entertainment company I’ve ever seen for its size. They are always behind the times. You really think people are still shelling out, what is it, $500 for Sunday Ticket? ROFL. Welcome to the 21st Century NFL where the internet has changed EVERYTHING. I absolutely refuse to pay $100 for this crap.

  24. Glad I didn’t start the free trial or pay for anything. Sounds like I need to wait for the NFL to get it right first. Good feedback from everyone.

  25. I got the Game Rewind discount as well. I’m not complaining. For me it, the pre-season games are bonus.

    I also liked being able to listen to my team’s radio cast while watching the game, instead of the TV announcers. Right now Gruden is the only one I can tolerate.

    The big thing I’d like to see the NFL straighten out are its channels on XBox and Roku, neither of which is working right now. Supposedly that will get fixed by the start of the regular season so that games can be watched.

  26. THANK YOU!!!! I’m a New Orleans Saints fan up in Saskatoon up in Canada. Since about 2006 I’ve been listening to Saints games via NFL Audio Pass. I went to resubscribe on Thursday and I couldn’t find it. It took me TWO HOURS and a hell of a lot of digging to find a single tweet on the NFL twitter feed, from 21 hours before, saying Audio Pass was discontinued. I didn’t receive a single notice from the NFL that they were discontinuing it. They even surveyed me in January asking how to improve things. All that they have now for Canada is two all or nothing packages (preseason+season or preseason+season+postseason) and the cheaper of the two starts at $249! I can’t afford that! I CAN afford a preseason+season radio-only subscription (all the post season games gets aired here on OTA channels) and it’s what I’ve been buying for years. I COULD afford a video/audio one team only subscription but they don’t have that outside the US. Hell, I could have maybe possibly even been able to save money over the long term IF THEY HAD BLOODY WARNED ME THERE WAS NO AUDIO PASS THIS SEASON!!!!!!!!
    My hope is there is MASSIVE backpedalling in the preseason and that they offer up Audio Pass when the season starts.
    Anyone know any reason, other than more $$$$, why they stopped with Audio Pass?

  27. I got suckered into this RIP OFF as well. They charged my card $99 a day ago and then kept redirecting back to the “Free Trial” page to repurchase every time I have tried to access the site to watch a game. Week 1 and I cannot access the games at all. Feel like I was robbed blind and I will NEVER EVER make another purchase from again

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