Definitive Analysis Of SiriusXM and the NFL App For listening to Live NFL Radio Play-By-Play


Ron Canazzi
 

Hi Group,

This is a long post.  If you aren't interested in NFL play-by-play broadcast, you might stop reading now.

On this and a few other lists, I initiated a discussion about how to best receive NFL radio play-by-play broadcasts of the games now that Tune In Premium had dropped the NFL and MLB broadcasts.  As far as MLB, there is an iPhone app as well as a website interface. Both are very accessible and the $20 US yearly for the service for both the app and the website is very affordable.

As concerns the NFL play-by-play, the two choices are SiriusXM and the NFL site and app.

I had gotten several conflicting bits of information concerning the availability of NFL play-by-play for the SiriusXM service.  Here is the definitive answer.  You _MUST_ have a radio to receive NFL, NBA and MLB play-by-play broadcasts. I know this because yesterday, I signed up for the service and found out that the NFL game last night and the NFL listing for play-by-play did not exist on the online streaming service.  When I signed up, I specifically asked if these play-by-play services were available.  I was told by SiriusXM tech support that they were.  When I found out last night that they were not, I called up this morning for a clarification and was definitively told that the services for NFL, NBA and MLB play-by-play were available only to those who owned radios.  So that settles that issue once and for all. When I told SiriusXM support of the bad information I got yesterday, they were quite good about it and refunded my first month fees and cancelled my account.

Now for the NFL app. Let me say first off that the app is clumsy. There are a bunch of buttons that show up as unpronounceable for VoiceOver on the iPhone app.  Experimentation has shown that the most important unlabeled button is the second from the top on the main screen and the Game Pass screen. This button is the settings button. VoiceOver has an ability to label unlabeled buttons, but that's one feature I haven't mastered at this time.  There are a bunch of other unlabeled buttons that I haven't figured out yet.

However, the biggest issue with this app is not so much some of those buttons, but it is the way NFL handles the games.  I experimented with this app for two days before the Thursday night game and they had only the remnant of the Super Bowl archives from last February listed under the Game Pass main screen.  There is a year/week/day picker in the app which takes a bit of getting used to.  When you first open it by double tapping on it, about fifty percent of the time, you get bounced to the status bar and have to navigate back to the picker.  But what bothered me most was that the screen for current games stay locked in last February until 8:20 PM last night.  At precisely that time, the app  switched to the year 2020 and the current year appeared in the year/week/day picker and then and only then could you access the feed for both Houston and Kansas City.  Once these feeds are available, you could double tap on the appropriate feed for home and away. The team names are clearly labeled so that is no problem.

What did happen is that for about the first five minutes, the games would not play and the TV feed which is not supposed to be available until immediately after the game has been completed actually played. Then it disappeared and the radio feeds became available.  I assume this was a glitch on the part of the NFL itself and nothing to do specifically with the app.  Maybe they'll do a better job on Sunday--having had these issues for the opening game.

As far as the website, each of these year/week/day time pickers is represented by a Tab.  You press enter on the appropriate tab and then a drop down menu appears so you can highlight it and press enter again to expose the game/s for that day.

All in all, as clumsy as it is, it is usable and is you don't want to buy a radio, it is the only alternative for now--other than hunting down team network affiliates that may stream the games. Indeed there are a bunch of them that have done that in the past. The site Free Football Radio<http://www.freefootballradio.com>  lists the affiliates of all 32 NFL teams and while they don't regularly update this list, many of the entries are valid enough. You can also go the the individual team website where the current list of affiliates is usually listed.

So there you have it: the major alternatives to the now defunct Tune In Premium NFL play-by-play broadcasts. The NFL site and app is a bit pricey at $100 yearly, but I suppose if you have sighted associates or family members, it might be worth it after all.

--
They Ask Me If I'm Happy; I say Yes.
They ask: "How Happy are You?"
I Say: "I'm as happy as a stow away chimpanzee on a banana boat!"

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