Tuesday, September 13, 2011

NFL.com Video; The Good, The Bad, The Pure Shite,

I'm going to leave the recap till tomorrow, not least because I'm busy watching the Raiders/Broncos.

Just before I go back to the game though, an issue that's come to light over the weekend is that Direct TV's Sunday Ticket service has apparently been bombing out, crashing, and in many cases simply not letting people access the afternoon games.

A lot of people have rightly called the service out and said that it's a mess, and that if the NFL wants to avoid losing customers then the league needs to take action to get it fixed. People may love football, but they don't love it enough to throw money away on the off chance that they might get a glimpse of a few plays in between service crashes.

But I believe the NFL has a much more pressing need and that's to sort out their damn website.

NFL.com is supposed to be the great white hope of the NFL. If they can get enough people to watch games live through NFL Game Pass, and with the future of TV globally shifting more and more towards on demand, Internet streamed services, then the league could one day cut the middle man out of the equation (the TV networks) and go straight to the advertisers themselves.

Before that can happen though, they need to fix the sack of shit that they otherwise refer to as their video service. I mean it is not just bad, it is chronic. Chronic.

Oh they're more than happy to stuff 30 second adverts down your throat every two minutes, but the actual videos themselves (you know, the things people log on to watch) take ages to load, they constantly glitch out, cutting off half way and then skipping back while the picture freezes etc. And for Gods sake will someone at NFL.com please turn off the auto play function. When, when in the history of Internet video, has anyone ever actually enjoyed having an auto play function that shoves videos down your throat?

The whole fucking point of online video is convenience, but right now NFL.com's video section is about as convenient as throwing a lap top down a well and trying to watch the videos from the top using a telescope. Even their statistics service is shit. If you want statistics, go to ESPN. You get much more data, you get it in a much more sensible layout and you dont have to keep switching the sound off your computer because yet another advert is being thrown at you.

They don't even do the highlights with radio calls on NFL.com anymore. People used to love that, but 'no', says the NFL, 'fuck you and what you guys actually want!'. Now we have to listen to more of Deion Sanders kissing the butts of his favourite players. Well you might do, I turn the sound off.

What's worse for the NFL is that as part of their new deal for Monday Night Football, ESPN also managed to get access to more highlights for their website. That was the one leverage tool that the NFL had in its pocket, the one thing that was unique about its site which could pull people in. With that thrown away, and depending on the quality of ESPN's service, there really wont be any need to go to NFL.com anymore, except if you have the game pass service.

It's just inexcusable and frankly a little pathetic. For a company of that size, with billion dollar revenues, to have such a cheap, shitty video service. There are literally hundreds of companies out there that provide online video services, and they all do it better than the NFL. There are freakin' (why I have stopped swearing?) fucking amateur movie critics who film their reviews in their living rooms and use services like Vimeo or Daily Motion to host their video content, and even they manage a better service.

It's just a joke and another classic 'fuck you' to the fans, love from the NFL. Get a clue NFL.

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