Product Review—NFL Game Pass Europe

NFL Game Pass is the official video streaming service of the NFL.

NFL Game Pass is a premium service, with multiple versions available both inside, and outside of the USA. While the domestic (USA) version is limited to time delayed replays, the European version also offers live game streaming, as well as NFL Network and NFL Red Zone streaming, making it the ideal way to watch live NFL games in the UK and throughout Europe.

Product Overview.

NFL Game Pass allows you to watch most games live and in HD, with PVR controls (pause, rewind, skip).

It includes streams of NFL RedZone channel and NFL Network. It also includes archived game footage for all 2017 season games, as soon as they air, and games from past seasons. It also offers condensed replays of games, allowing you to see every play of the game, without huddles, replays and additional commentary, in around 30 minutes.

It features archived NFL Network shows, to view on demand, which is a particularly nice feature, as live content can tend to be shown at awkward times of the night for UK Fans, and archived games going back several years.

Video Quality.

The video quality is very good. A stable 1-3 megabit connection will ensure you are able to receive a good quality stream, and an 5-8 megabit will give you 720p HD video at 60 frames per second. In past seasons, NFL Game Pass has been powered by Neulion, who were experts at providing HD streams of live content. For the 2017 season, NFL Game Pass has been brought in house, and is powered by a new HTML5 based system. During preseason, NFL Game Pass streams have been largely stable, and are encoded and delivered to your system in HD quality, with only around a 30 second delay from broadcast. This means you can follow fantasy football or twitter during the game without fear of having big plays spoiled for you—the live stream is on your computer quicker than the fastest tweeters could type 144 characters. However, as this is still a new system, and preseason games are unlikely to have taxed the system to its fullest, we will see if this remains the case once the regular season begins.

The video looks great if connected to a HDTV using a VGA or HDMI cable, and even better if you have access to a projector. It is easily good enough quality to be blown up to 100″ plus if your projector is of good enough quality to do so.

You receive Fox, CBS, NBC, or ESPN’s local streams, including US adverts. I understand, and in some ways like, this decision, but at times do wish that they can find a way to offer local adverts to the country where you live—especially if this helps reduce the costs or reduce blackouts. Watching adverts is tedious at the best of times, but ads for products and services which are not available in your country seems like a real exercise in futility, especially since switching to a relevant stream of local adverts does not seem like an overly difficult technological ask.

Using The Service

The newly redesigned website is relatively easy to use, and pretty straightforward to navigate. Switching between streams is simple, and can be done with very little buffering time required before the stream starts to play. Fans who have used previous versions of the service may have a little difficulty finding where things are in the new layout, but overall it is intuitive, and straightforward,

The new NFL Game Pass is powered by HTML5, rather than the outdated Adobe flash, which is a great decision. It means that the video can be played natively on most internet connected devices with a web browser through the website, without needing any specific apps to do so. HTML5 is universal, and requires much less processing power than flash, vastly improving support. This is a huge step forward compared to previous years, where flash was a real limiting factor.

However, the switch to HTML5 has not been without some loss of functionality. Picture in picture and quad-box viewing options, allowing you to follow multiple games at once, appear to be missing at this point.

Additionally, unlike previous desktop versions of Game Pass, there is no manual quality selector. This is potentially problematic for users with capped broadband plans, who want to watch games at lower quality to preserve bandwidth.

However, these are small prices to pay for the overall benefits HTML5 brings.

Phone/Tablet/Smart TV Support

NFL Game Pass also offers good support for Android and iOS based phones and tablets through dedicated apps. Virtually all of the features available to desktop users are available through the intuitive native apps. The updated apps seem much more stable and reliable than previous versions, which is a welcome addition, and quality is great.

Perhaps the biggest benefit for mobile users, is AirPlay and ChromeCast support for AppleTV or ChromeCast owners providing the simplest possible way to stream to your TV.  A native Apple TV App is available for newer model Apple TV’s, but AirPlay and ChromeCast support is also nice, especially as it allows games to be streamed to the many other devices supporting these protocols.

NFL have upgraded their tablet and mobile apps for 2017 and now more than ever mirror the features available on the desktop version. A full selection of Archived content are all available for tablets and mobiles, and the app is much easier to navigate. Additionally, since moving from NeuLion, the stream quality on mobile seems identical to that available on desktop, which is a very welcome addition.

One area mobile apps do trump the browser, is in allowing games to be downloaded to be watched later when you may not have a reliable internet connection. Since a condensed game can be watched in around 30 minutes, this is great for anyone who regularly commutes on trains or busses with limited or non-existent internet connections.

Aside from the aforementioned AirPlay/ChromeCast support, other smart TV support is currently notable for its omission. NFL have promised support for Samsung and LG smart TVs is coming later in the season, but for owners of these TVs now, this is not an ideal situation. Additionally, while Xbox app is currently working, the PS4 equivalent remains unavailable at this point. While some of this can certainly be put down to the switch from NeuLion, in truth, connected TV support has always been limited, and patchy at best, and looks set to continue to be so, at least for a little while.

However, the good news for many users is that the move to HTML5 means that dedicated apps are not always necessary any more. Most devices that feature a web browser and have HTML5 Video support will be able to use NFL Gamepass, which includes many smart set top boxes, devices like the Raspberry Pi, and much more besides. Even officially unsupported smart phones and tablets can often run the mobile version of the website with no issues at all. Many newer TVs and set top boxes are now powered by a version of Android and feature a full-featured web browser, meaning that even those which do not have access to the full Google Play store may still be able to stream games via the web browser with no issues at all. This is a real welcome addition.

Availability and Limitations

NFL Game Pass is available in most European countries. In the United States and its territories, A service called Game Pass is available, but it is purely a replay-service and is not interchangeable with “European” versions of Game Pass (like Netflix). In Canada, as well as a small number of additional countries, NFL content is now only available through a new service called DAZN (Pronounced Da Zone) which offers many sports in addition to NFL, at a very good price. However, subscribing to this service, even while using a VPN, is quite difficult without a Canadian, German, Swiss, Austrian, or Japanese billing address, meaning for most people, Game Pass remains the best way to subscribe. Nonetheless, we are currently attempting to see if there are ways to subscribe to DAZN from outside of these countries, as the service seems very good.

However, for most fans in Europe, (and the rest of the world, via VPN) NFL Game Pass Europe is a very good option for NFL Fans.

However, in the UK, there are restrictions and limitations you need to be aware of.

Firstly, Sunday Night games which are (scheduled to be) broadcast on Sky Sports are unfortunately blacked-out and can only be watched on demand 24 hours after broadcast. This is a problem, especially on those (admittedly rare) occasions where Sky change their intended broadcast without much notice, or cut away from a game early. In these circumstances, even though the game is not actually being broadcast anywhere in the UK at the time, the games have historically remained blacked out and unavailable.

Fortunately, this does not affect games broadcast on other UK broadcasters, or Sky Sports games shown on other days of the week (only the two main Sunday Games) but still means any fan wanting to ensure they have access to all games throughout a season need to purchase both NFL Game Pass and a Sky Sports subscription.

Fortunately, the FAQs seem to indicate that this will no longer apply to playoff games, a very welcome change, but this remains to be seen, as in previous seasons NFL Game Pass has indicated that playoffs would be available, only to change this later in the season, so fans counting on this still being true come playoff time should be warned.

Both of these restrictions can be bypassed by the use of European based VPN or Smart DNS servers—and we recommend most UK or non-european fans who want unrestricted access invest in a VPN service. However, they can sometimes be less successful on tablets and mobile apps, which sometimes use addition GPS or cellular location services as well as IP-based Geolocation, and since no pre-season games have been blacked out yet, it has been impossible to test this so far. In our experience, however, Smart DNS and VPN servers have been successful for us, and we particularly recommend HMA VPN*

Another limitation is that only one concurrent login is allowed. This is, of course, to prevent several people sharing an account, and is understandable, but the way this is handled is problematic. Instead of handling it like most other streaming services, and warning people that another user is logged in and asking them to log out of the other device first, it instead allows you to log in, and kicks out the other user.

This may not seem like a big deal, but simply opening the app on your TV, phone or tablet, or visiting the website in another browser or on another computer, can be enough to kick you out of the service, even if you never actually watch anything.

Lets say you have friends around watching the game on your TV using Game Pass and your Media Centre PC. You have some vested interest in another game, so you’re checking the score board regularly. You try to go to NFL.com on your laptop, but your browser auto-completes this to nflgamepass.com, and takes you to that site instead, and because your login is saved, it triggers a time-out on your media centre. You now have to log back in, and re-start the stream, a multi-step process on your media centre PC. If that happens in an ad break, it’s annoying, but on third-and-goal from the 3, with the game on the line, you’re going to lose some friends over it!

Additionally, while not a real availability limitation, per-se users with limited data packages, either on their home broadband or cellular data may find themselves unable to really use Game Pass. NFL Game Pass is a bandwidth hog, and will quickly eat into your data allowance if you are not on an unlimited broadband, 3G, or 4G data package. A typical high quality NFL Game Pass stream can easily use 1-4 GB of data per hour, and considering live games run for 7-8 hours on a sunday, this can quickly add up. NFL Game Pass used to offer an option to reduce the stream quality to save data, but this is no longer an option, and it will automatically use as much bandwidth as is available. So if you have fast internet, but limited data available, Game Pass may not work well for you for very long. There are ways to throttle the speed of your network connection in some routers, or in your desktop OS, but this is an overly technical, and cludgey solution to something that used to be available with a single click from within the app.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it is also worth mentioning that if you are in the UK you will require a TV License to view the live content, even on your computer or mobile device. Put simply, under new guidelines, the UK TV Licensing Authority don’t care that the stream originates outside of the UK, as long as it is broadcast live or “as live” by any means. If you are watching live games, even on your phone, or laptop, streamed over the internet, from outside the UK, you now technically need a TV license. Going forward, this may change, as services like Twitch.tv and Facebook Live continue to blur the lines between what constitutes “live TV” and how far the TVLA’s authority stretches, but for now, assume that if you are watching NFL Games live, by any means, without a TV license in the UK, you are breaking the law, even if you pay for Game Pass completely legitimately.

Reliability and Support

Unfortunately, though the quality of the service is great, when it works, the reliability, in the past has, left more than a little to be desired. In previous seasons, throughout the week, the service works great, but on more than a few occasions, when it comes to live game-day streaming there were serious issues. Many of these issues persisted into throughout the NFL’s partnership with NeuLion, which may be part of the reason for the change in 2017.

Throughout the preseason, we have not experienced any of the issues that have plagued the service in the past, however, it is important to note that pre-season should really be considered a “soft launch” as far fewer fans watch the live preseason games, compared to regular season, so fans are advised to exercise caution about the stability, reliability, and quality they should expect during the regular season, until the new service is really put under load. Week 1 will be an interesting test, and we will update this article at that point.

Additionally some issues were not directly related to the Game Pass service—for example when, Sky Sports change their planned broadcast last-minute, or cutting away from a game early, but it still being blacked out on Game Pass, or interruptions with the US Broadcasters—and the blackout rules and method of securing the streams has not changed, meaning that these issues will continue to persist even on the new system.

However, in the past what all of the issues had in common was the terrible support and customer services offered when this happened.

NeuLion were notoriously slow to respond, and consistently unavailable during key times when issues occurred. The new support team, in our limited dealings with them, seem much better, more helpful, and quicker to respond, but again, we will see how this continues once regular season starts, and the inevitable issues begin to creep into the service.

Price

There is no two ways about it… NFL Game Pass is not cheap.

If you want to watch a full season, you’re going to have to pay for the privilege.

Although in previous years, NFL Game Pass had multiple tiers of service, starting in 2017, they have only 2 offerings

Season Pro is the top tier service, and includes every single game—except showing live on Sky Sports, as previously discussed—from preseason to the Super Bowl live, and on demand (though in the past live post-season games were unavailable unless you use a VPN service. NFL have been unclear on whether this will be the case in 2017). It also includes live and on demand NFL Network content, NFL Red Zone on game day, condensed “game in 40” replays, archived games and NFL Network/NFL Films content and Coaches Film from every game. It is priced at £139.99 for the full season, or £14.99 weekly at the start of the season, though this often reduces as the season progresses.

For several years NFL have been adding features, while holding or reducing this cost year on year as they seek to expand the NFL’s presence in the UK. However 2017 is definitely higher for many people, but they are definitely offering significantly more for your money in a lot of ways.

However, in spite of this, by the time you have added on the cost of a Sky Sports subscription, or premium VPN service to ensure you can view every game, you are looking at an expensive service.

This is not an issue, per-se—it is still cheaper than the equivalents like NFL Sunday Ticket which are available to American fans (Approx £250 for the season), but it is still something you want to think twice before committing to—remember, once you have started your subscription, there are no easy refunds. This is also made particularly difficult to swallow, since in countries DAZN is available, its service, which includes NFL as well as dozens of other sports, clocks in at only around £100.

Small savings can sometimes be made by choosing to pay in alternative currencies, depending on the current exchange rate, while purchasing through in-app purchase on the iOS and android apps is often significantly more expensive.

For 2017, a new package is also available, called “Essential”, however this is very hard for us to recommend.

Essential is a budget oriented option, which offers a single live game each week, and a single full replay. This is chosen by NFL Staff (you cannot simply select your favourite team’s game each week). It does include live NFL Network coverage, meaning that you will also get live coverage of every game shown on the network (select Monday and Thursday night games throughout the season) but as you do not get access to archived NFL Network content, unless you watch it live, you will not be able to replay these games either. It does give you access to condensed replays of every game, so if you are a very casual fan, with no particular allegiance to any team, this may be a way to get a little more knowledgable about the game, before jumping up to the full package at a later date, but at £84.99, the small difference in price makes it hard to justify the big difference in available content, and for most, this package is hard to really justify!

Conclusion.

NFL Game Pass is by far the best—and only legal—way to watch every NFL game live in the UK. If you are a fan of a team in a smaller market, whose games are rarely shown on Sky Sports, then it is a great way to watch, compared to combing the internet for low quality streams which are liable to be shut down at any point.

Historically, we also shied away from recommending top tier subscriptions, however, NFL have finally reached a balance of price and service that we can definitely justify the upgrade for people who previously purchased lower tier packages, and their new lowest tier package is almost impossible to recommend. Though it is true that the flexibility some of the older tiers offered in was good, the price to feature balance they have struck for the new Season Pro package makes sense for most users.

Fans of the sport, with no allegiance to a particular team, would likely be better served just watching the regular weekly broadcasts, and may get some benefit from the essential package but for fans who support any team, who are active in Fantasy Football, or who are heavily invested in the whole league, NFL Game Pass is a must.


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45 comments on “Product Review—NFL Game Pass Europe
    • Thanks for the comment.

      Generally this is true, and has usually been my experience, but this is not universally true.

      Officially, there is a 24 hour delay, but multiple games last season, at least for me, did not show up until more than 48 hours after. Although they blamed technical issues at the time, their basic response was something to the effect of ‘Sometimes it takes longer, we do not guarantee that they will be available 24 hours after the game finishes, only that they will definitely be blacked out for at least 24 hours’

      I will clarify, but I didn’t want to make promises NFL don’t particularly seem bothered about honouring.

  1. Hello. Thanks for all the review. Only thing I differ is the video quality of apps. I have a gen 2 iPad and an IPhone 5 thru airplay to an 75″ TV is it works GREAT. Amazing resolution, better than the one I get with my notebook hooked to the tv. Definitively the Ipad seems to handle video much much better than my notebook (not the fastest notebook though).

    The only thing I did was to minimize the wireless, by connecting the AppleTV directly to my Ethernet over power plug; and placing the iPad just next to the wifi router.

    I’m still waiting the multiple streaming in the tablets. With that, the experience would be more than complete.

    • Thanks for the comments.

      As with all of these things, your individual experience may vary.

      For those who are interested, our tests were conducted as follows.

      For AirPlay:

      Tests using 3rd Gen Apple TV connected to 50″ LG Plasma TV via HDMI Connected to Netgear 802.11n router. Tested via 802.11n Wifi and 100 Megabit Ethernet cable (no significant visible difference).
      Streaming from Apple iPhone 5 and iPad 4th Gen (Retina Display and Lightning Connector) running 2013 NFL Game Pass app.
      Also tested connected to my 1024×768 Projector via Neewer HDMI-VGA Convertor.

      For iPhone/iPad via HDMI
      Apple iPhone 5 and iPad 4th Gen (Retina Display and Lightning Connector) running 2013 NFL Game Pass app via Apple Lightning to HDMI converter.

      For Computer:
      Apple MacBook Pro Unibody (Core i5, 17″) Connected to 50″ LG Plasma TV through HDMI (via third party Mini Display Port – HDMI adaptor) and VGA (via Apple Mini Display Port – VGA adaptor).
      Also connected to 1024×768 Projector through VGA (via Apple Mini Display Port – VGA adaptor).
      Also Tested via Lenovo G505 (VGA and HDMI direct from computer) under Windows 8 & Ubuntu. (No significant difference in video quality on any of these 3 laptops, but G505 did occasionally struggle with dropped frames due to being a budget laptop).

      Admittedly, some older laptops may struggle to support higher resolutions and higher bandwidth streams, due to underpowered CPU’s memory issues etc.

      Also, Airplay was tested at the beginning of the season, updates to AppleTV, Game Pass App or IOS may have improved quality significantly, I will test these again with the 2014 app and update the article if necessary.

      • For those who are interested, this site has been updated to reflect the 2014 and 2015 iterations of the app.

        Put simply, there is a difference in quality between that available via Airplay (we now know that the mobile apps are limited to a 1.5 megabit stream, now we have manual quality selection, which although 720p30 has a noticeable amount of compression artefacts) whereas through a Windows/Mac browser, you have access to a 4.5 megabit stream which is 720p60 and has much less noticeable compression artefacts, and a much clearer picture, overall. Put simply, it doesn’t quite have the same bandwidth as some broadcast HD channels, but it’s pretty comparable with Sky Sports HD’s NFL streams.

        On the flip side, a 1.5 megabit stream barely has the same bandwidth as a SD stream… and although the AppleTV does some pretty clever things with decoding and upscaling that your average TV doesn’t do to make a 1.5 megabit stream look much nicer than SD, your average laptop can do even more, and a computer hooked up directly is certainly a nicer experience.

  2. The above article is a good one, which reflects well, NFL Game Pass. We love it,,,and the 2 bad things about it r…the ads, which advertise Pizza Pizza and Pizza Delivered,,,which, where we live cant get pizza delivered,,,so the taste buds are on fire, while watching the greatest sport on the planet! the second thing, is, actually not THAT bad…but the better games r on sport for that week and when it coincides with ur favorite team, it means u need to wait 1 or 2 days…which means total Communication lock down, until u see the game.
    Game Pass has been a life saver, for this yank, living in the UK!

      • Hi! I ‘m facing some video quality issues on my PC which is connected to a samsung ue55es7000 3d smart tv. Video isn’t smooth comparing to kodi nfl game pass app and general youtube/vimeo video streaming…it is very annoying! I’ve tried all major browsers (ie 11, chrome and firefox) with every possible combination (hardware acceleration off/ unlimited/ flash player plugin and built in). My pc/tv can handle smoothly any video quality up to 1080p60! My pc runs win 8.1 pro 64bit, 4gb ram, six-core amd fx processor 3ghz and vga amd 7700 series 2gb… i found a “solution” by dropping the framerate nanually to 30 hz and the video is smooth, with some dropped frames occasionaly! I have also a vdsl 50 mbps internet connection..
        Any ideas? Thanx!

        • Hi Christos.

          Thanks for the comment. Since I can’t duplicate your setup exactly, it is hard to say anything here with certainty, and I would encourage you to contact the official NFL GamePass support team for more info. That said, allow me to offer you some general tips and advice.

          If I had to guess, this is simply an incompatibility between Flash and your TV. Possibly flash is incorrectly identifying the capabilities of your TV, or your TV is trying to do something the stream doesn’t support (like maybe identifying it as a 3d source) causing some incompatibilities with it. One option might be to try connecting your PC to your TV in a different way. Eg, if you currently use HDMI, try VGA/DVI, or vice versa.

          Another possibility (and something I personally experienced once) is that an unshielded video cable can severely impact network performance if you are using wifi. A cheap magnetic interference coil solved the problem for me in this case. The fact that putting it into 30hz mode solves this suggests that this possibly isn’t the case, but it’s worth a try, perhaps 60hz is a frequency that causes more interference than 30hz.

          Finally, it probably goes without saying, given how thorough you have been with everything to this point, but have you ensured that your Graphics Card drivers, flash and windows are completely up to date, and no other hardware/software is causing any instability?

          If none of these things help (which is possible, if the bug is with the site, rather than your setup) there may still be some workarounds.

          Firstly, is there a reason you need to use your computer connected to your TV, is there a reason you need to use it via a web browser?

          You’ve already mentioned the NFL GamePass app for Kodi, which is personally how I’d be going about it (in fact, it is how I go about it when I watch it on TV, using Kodi/OpenElec on an old first gen Apple TV with a Broadcom Crystal HD addon, as it gives me the best quality streaming I have found. I still use my MacBook and Safari when I hook it up to my projector but have never had the kind of issues you’re describing with this setup). The game pass app for Kodi is very good, and it is my default option now. If you’ve already got at Kodi setup, I’d say stick with that. If you installed Kodi on your PC, but don’t want to use that permanently, that you can install Kodi via openelec on a Raspberry Pi, and pick up a Pi Zero with HDMI converter for about £10, this is probably the best option most of the time.

          Secondly, if this is not an option all of the time, or you are worried about future compatibility (the Kodi app is not official after all), NFL Game Pass has an official app for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. If you don’t already own one of these consoles, you can pick up a used Xbox 360 for about £35-40. The app should support full resolution, full speed video no problems, and since it’s officially supported by the NFL it should do so without any of the potential compatibility issues you may see with Kodi.

          The next option, if available (I don’t own a Samsung Smart TV, so I can’t check) is to install Plex on the TV, and use your PC as a Plex Media Server. You can then use 41Johns NFL Network plugin to stream from your computer directly to your TV. I have used this option in the past on my Mac/Roku, and it worked fine for me, but personally, I found the Kodi app a little easier, as it did away with the need for a media server… but your mileage may vary. Details are here https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/27030/rel-nfl-network

          The final option—and beware, it’s very technical, and may not work at all—would be to try using something like WireShark or Fiddler4 to capture the URL of the GamePass stream, and then playing this stream directly in something like VLC. I’ve never tried this myself, but I understand this is how people are able to get the Kodi and Plex apps working.

          I hope this helps, but like I say, contact the official gamepass support channel, they may have more ideas, and if nothing else, push them for official Smart TV apps, and HTML5 support, as this would inevitably resolve most of these issues.

          • Wow! Thanx Luke! Loads of information! I have to do a lot of things/trials now…
            My experience with kodi app was very nice except of live streaming where i had freezing/ stuttering and i don’t know why…i’ll give it a try again and also i will try safari browser too…
            Does appletv’s gp app have live streaming for international subscribers? Also is it free? I think apple tv would be a good solution for me as i ‘ m interested in ufc fp too…

            Thanx a lot!

          • Christos. No worries at all. If you’re having similar issues with Kodi, it could be that your ISP is throttling NFL Gamepass Streaming. Are you connecting via a VPN? If not, that may help matters. I found that CyberGhost or HMA VPN (see our guide here: http://gridironfans.co.uk/buying-guides/how-to-bypass-nfl-game-pass-blackouts-in-the-uk/) have drastically smoothed out any connection throttling I’ve experienced in the past (My office ISP used to block or greatly throttle all streaming traffic because it was a “business” connection, VPN’s removed this restriction)

            If it only happens when connected to your TV, and not to (for example) an external monitor or on your laptop/phone, the shielded video cable issue is possibly more likely if you’re using WiFi. You should be able to pick up a magnetic interference coil from somewhere like amazon for a couple of £/€/$.

            The Game Pass app is free, but obviously, you’ll need an active NFL Game Pass subscription. It is not on the Apple TV itself, but rather on your iDevice (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) using AirPort streaming. It is a good solution, but won’t be noticeably better than your PC in 30Hz mode. The bandwidth is capped in the app at 1.5 megabit (not 4, as with Kodi/Plex/web browser) which is a 720p30 stream. If you don’t already own an Apple TV, a used Xbox 360 should be cheaper and give you a better overall experience (and this is coming from a die-hard Apple fan). The app is free in the Xbox Live App Store, and works great.

          • I don’t use any vpn at all…i live in Greece and there is no need of doing this because there aren’t any blackouts! so why is it happening in live streaming? I can’t figure it out…
            Oh i haven’t mentioned that i use a high speed hdmi cable connected to my smart tv…i dont’ use wifi connection! The weirdest of all is that my setup can play anything else in excellency except gp!!! Ok in kodi app the quality is almost excellent despite the stuttering in live streams…Probably 60 fps can’ t be handled by my tv but the same experience is when i put streaming in 3000kbps…
            I ve tried my old xbox 360 too, but my browser experience even in 30 hz is much much better!!! Now i own a ps4 but without hope of a gp app in the near future…I am “desperate”!!!lol!!!

            Thanx my friend!!!

          • I’ ve tried Kodi app and it was all ok!I turned Kodi to Confluence skin (I had “rapier” skin) and I saw seahawks-vikings live in 4500kbs without any glitch…Probably changing skin helped!
            Luke, thanx again for all your support!

          • Glad it worked for you. Yeah, some themes are more resource-intensive than others. I’ve not used Rapier, but it could be doing something constantly in the background that was using up memory or CPU cycles and causing the issue. Or it could just be an incompatibility… Confluence is the default skin most addon developers use while testing their add-ons.

            I use Amber on my ATV1 and it works very well, lightweight with no background issues, but is a little nicer to look at (in my opinion) than Confluence, and much more responsive than the Aeon family (which are gorgeous, but sluggish on my ATV1) or Mimic (my favourite all round skin, but again, sluggish)

    • I’m really sorry to hear this. Obviously, NFL Gamepass is not a product we produce, so any issues will need to be sorted directly with NFL and NeuLion, however, since it is working fine for so many other users, I’d be interested to hear what specifically isn’t working, to see if I can help.

      Firstly, where are you located? If you’re located in the USA, then games will indeed not work the same way without using some kind of region unlocking, we have a guide to this here.

      Secondly, you need a fast internet connection for any streaming to work reliably. Ensure you have at least 3 megabits of available bandwidth.

      You also need to ensure your apps/software are up to date, particularly, ensure flash is up to date and running well.

      • Yeah, we’ve never had issues either, and have been using it for about 6 years now.

        As we say, you need a relatively modern computer and fast broadband connection, but if you’re paying for a streaming service, you would assume you knew your setup could handle online streaming.

  3. This is a handy review of a service I’ve been thinking of making use of. I wondered if anyone had any experience of the 7-day trial and canceling it? I was thinking of trying this last season and noted ‘You will be billed £64.99 on xxxx date, unless you cancel in accordance with the applicable instructions. I couldn’t find info relating to those instructions, so I was a little wary. It would be useful to know if anyone has been able to cancel without problems?

    I’m surprised and disappointed that your review states that you still have to suffer all the advert breaks. At least when watching on Channel 4 last season, you were more often than not taken back to the studio for comment and analysis.

    Please can someone confirm whether or not the advert breaks apply only to the live streams? Or do they apply to the archive footage also?

    I confess following the recent NFL BBC deal that I have been relying on streams from other sources. The quality is okay and I was amazed the service hasn’t gone down. I did this more out of frustration at the loss of my guaranteed one game a week with Channel 4. I still don’t see how the BBC could tout this as a good deal for fans – 3 live Wembley games and a highlight show from mid-November?!

    It would be good to watch the games when I want to and with clearer picture quality. Game Pass likely for next season then – but would welcome clarification on the ads and cancellation of free trial if necessary. Thanks for a great review.

    • Thanks for the comment.

      With regards to cancelling the trial, you need to contact support during the 7 day trial period. It’s pretty straightforward, I would suggest doing so via livechat rather than by email, so you can guarantee you’ve got a response. It’s only available during business hours (Eastern Time) so is a little annoying to try and get through to them at a normal time of day in the UK, but once you do, is pretty simple.

      You will always have as breaks. The only way they can do all games—remember there can be as many as 10 games at any one time some weeks—is to take the streams unaltered from CBS, Fox, ESPN or NFL Network. There would be no practical way to go to a live studio during every break, as C4 used to. And the only reason C4 did that is that they struggled to sell ad time at that time of night.

      That said, ads are stripped out of replays of games, usually within a few hours of the end of the broadcast.

      I think the BBC deal is a step backwards in the short term, but sets up for better coverage once we have a dedicated team here in the UK.

  4. Hi Luke

    We have had Game Pass for 2 years now. I can confirm, that the AD’s are only on the LIVE stream, not afterwards. The Biggest down side to GamePass, is the Blackout of 2 games on Sunday, normally good ones(which SKY play), but the next day, all is well. If you LOVE NFL and LOVE a team or two, you cant get a better service.

    I wouldnt worry about the refund,,,u wont need it, but they are a very reputable service…also, u can manage your account, NOT to resubscribe the following year, if you choose.

    I am a Steeler Fan…looking forward to watching LIVE Sunday night!

    Good luck

    aaron

      • Thanks Genaron and LukeHB for your input.

        Yes, I wasn’t expecting the live streams to be like C4, I was just contrasting the two experiences. I confess, I find it rather irritating watching the live stream because of the sheer number of breaks – every opportunity in the game. Sometimes, and this is especially irritating, when the ads finish, you’re back to the game and play has commenced. Often, when a touchdown has been scored, when play coverage recommences, you’ve missed the extra point kick.

        I’m glad to hear the archived footage has ads stripped – is the game continuous therefore? Or do you get a network screen that says play will commence after the break? (Seen that on live college football games).

        Okay, sounds as though I can trust the free trial then. I like the idea that the package is so good I wouldn’t want to cancel – so, I guess I’m out of excuses 😉

        Do I have a team – well, for purely sentimental reasons I guess I’d say it’s the Miami Dolphins. Why? My dad introduced me to the sport back in the 80’s when Dan Marino was their quarter back. Plus I have a Florida connection personally.

        That said, I just love a good game. I tend to back a team each game and I love getting behind the underdog if I’m neutral – even if I’m not! As long as my preferred team wins.

        Glad to have found this site and will visit often.

        Dave

        • No. The game is continuous. Also, there are “condensed” games available too, with all the replays and commentary stripped out. Just the action. You can watch a game in about 35-40 minutes that way. On the Season Plus package, you’ve also got things like Coaches Film/All 22, which is how the coaches review the game. It’s basically every play from a camera way high up in the coaches box. you can see the whole field for every play… it’s a very different way to watch a game, but also a worthwhile experience every so often.

          If ads annoy you that much, I wholeheartedly recommend the NFL RedZone channel. It jumps between all the big plays in all the games, and includes every touchdown, and no ads. It’s a great (if somewhat hectic) way to watch a game.

          Game Pass also has Picture in Picture mode, so what I tend to do is if I’m watching a single game, but it has too many ads, I keep Red Zone on, in PiP, and switch to it every time it goes to an ad break, then back to the main game when it comes back.

          To be honest, there are way less ads in the regional games than there are in a national game (the one Sky usually tend to pick up, and all the MNF, TNF and Sunday Night games, on BBC/C4 etc.), so again, it’s less of an issue.

          I was exactly like you. They used to offer “free weekends” in years gone by… I thought it was too expensive, used it for a free weekend, and had to subscribe. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll understand!

      • Thanks LUKE, i looked into those links you sent me…just nervous messing up an already good thing, by going with VPN/DNS…plus, im not that Gadget savvy, so a lil intimidated 🙁

        i DO believe you, when you say its spectacular!

        which Team do you support?

        looking forward to watching last nights Thursday Night game, this morning!

        All the best and GO STEELERS!

        • I’m a Cardinals fan, for my sins, but somewhat follow the Chiefs in the AFC too, and have a soft spot for the Bengals and Packers.

          We’ve used Adfreetime for about the last 3 seasons, with no issues, and are using HMA VPN (and have tried Cyberghost) this year, again with no problems.

          If you’re concerned at all about the technical side, I would recommend HMA VPN or Cyberghost, both have simple apps, one click, and you’re connected.

          They make no permanent changes to your computer, so if it doesn’t work, just disconnect and you’re back to your normal connection.

  5. Hi Dave

    Where there WAS an AD, u just have a small gap line in time (1 second or so) then back to play. Personally, i love the American Ads, they r very different to ours.

    Dont forget to tune in on game day or during the week, to NFL Gameday show etc…on the day and during the week…

    Also, why join the NFL Fantasy Football League…makes it even more interesting.

    As a Steeler fan, i have no sympathy for u being a Dolphin fan, but glad ur a fan 🙂

    All the best

    aaron

    • Yeah, all of what you have said, I would agree with.

      I was at the NFL game in London yesterday, and was amazed at how I actually missed some of the US ad’s… Crazy, I know.

      I wholeheartedly endorse the idea of a fantasy football league. It definitely adds a new dimension to the game. I have been part of a league with some friends for about 12 years now, and its great fun.

      Maybe we could even look at an Gridironfans.co.uk league in time for next season.

      I’m sorry content has been coming along slowly this season—I’ve just had a massive change of job, and started University, but I’m definitely getting back into things as life settles down. A fantasy football league would be great, in addition to some of the other things we have in the pipeline, like a weekly podcast and a youtube channel.

      Definitely watch this space!

  6. Probably you already know but I want to remind you that [LINK REMOVED] has NFL games in their price. It’s only $45/yearly so I suggest to go to [LINK REMOVED] and buy subscription from them

  7. I want to remind you that [link removed] has NFL games in their price. Check the schedule and watch your game there – [brand name removed]

    • Please be reminded that linking to, or recommending services we have not reviewed is not allowed. Obviously, this service would be great for NFL fans if it works, but we need to confirm this for ourselves.

      If you would like us to review your site, please contact us, and we will be happy to arrange this.

      Further posting about this site without first contacting us to arrange a formal review cannot be tolerated.

  8. Hey there.

    Thanks for your review, it was very interesting.

    I really got into American Football the past season and was thinking of purchasing the GamePass. My big concern is over the blackouts for Sky Games. As well as Sunday games, didn’t Sky also show Monday and Thursday Night Football? Does that mean those games are blacked out as well? If so, it means there are few games you can actually watch live.

    Everything else seems good value for money to me.

    • Historically, it has only ever been Sunday games that are blacked out, and there is no indication that this will change this season.

      However, all blackouts can easily be bypassed using the guide elsewhere on our site.

      • Hi there!

        Thankyou very much for your response!

        That is very comforting hear and is helpful in my decision-making process. I shall look for that other advice.

        Thanks once again, much appreciated!

  9. Thanks for this amazing article.

    I am thinking about getting the Season Pro Game Pass for the first time. Like previous users I’m put off by their own web page! But you have answered a number of questions.

    I am in the UK on unlimited Virgin Media broadband so presuming I’ll have no stream issues there, pretty decent streaming all other channels in HD.

    One thing: if I pay the £14.99 weekly option does that lock me into a contract for the full season or can it be cancelled / stop and started?

    I know I will be away at certain times and wouldn’t be sure I could get full benefit if I was paying for those weeks too.

    Thanks again.

    • Hey,

      Thanks for the positive comments.

      My understanding is that the weekly option is not a long term contract, but this is a new option for this year, and I have been unable to get a clear answer on this!

      If you don’t plan to watch many games, just the occasional one here or there, this is actually a decent option, but be aware, if you watch more than 9 weeks, you will effectively paid for the annual subscription, and any game more than that will actually be costing you money, overall.

      Streaming on virgin media should not be an issue at all, though obviously it’s impossible to completely account for local congestion etc. Which can affect speeds.

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