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NFL Game Pass Review - Watch the NFL Online via Streaming

Updated 8/31/2017 by Brad Perniciaro

Reviewed: NFL Game Pass

Overall Rating

Overall Game Pass Rating
Content Availability Features Value

What is NFL Game Pass?

Game Pass is the NFL's online streaming service that provides instant access to live preseason games and same-day access to all other games throughout the season. Game Pass puts NFL fanatics and fantasy football enthusiasts in the GM seat with DVR-like controls that make finding the best football action quick and simple.

In addition to live and archived football games, subscribers to NFL Game Pass also get access to the NFL Films archives, audio-only game feeds, multiple game viewing angles, and more. Best of all, you can try the service for free to see if it's worth it!


PROS

  • Same-day access to all NFL regular season games
  • Live feed of NFL preseason games
  • Available on most devices & consoles
  • Free trial and payment plans available
  • Invaluable to fantasy football owners
  • Same-day access to playoff games & Super Bowl
  • Zero commercial interruptions
  • Instant access to the NFL Films archive
  • Watch entire games in under 45 minutes
  • DVR-like control of games and plays

Start your 100% free trial right now!

CONS

  • Delayed access to regular season games, playoff games, and Super Bowl
  • Audio-only mode is not available for archived games on Android

 

A Review of NFL Game Pass features

This NFL Game Pass review is an in-depth analysis of what you can expect from the NFL's most affordable streaming service. I'll talk about all of the impressive things that Game Pass has to offer and, when appropriate, where it might be lacking.

Game Pass is chock-full of fantastic features that go beyond simply watching NFL game replays. I'll do a deep-dive into these components in the following sections. But first, here is a list of most notable features that you'll have access to with an NFL Game Pass subscription.

 

The key features of NFL Game Pass in 2017

Curious about what features NFL Game Pass includes?  Here is a list of the most interesting features for the 2017 season. Click on any of these items to jump to an in-depth review of that feature:

Watch live, out-of-market preseason games

When it comes to watching preseason games, the vast majority of NFL fans are limited to watching their hometown teams and preseason games that are televised nationally.   Game Pass makes every out-of-network preseason game available to you in real time

For NFL fanatics, the preseason is an ideal time to evaluate the talent on the teams of your conference and division rivals.  For fantasy football owners, this provides a great way to appraise players that we might consider drafting in our fantasy football leagues.

NFL Game Pass live games are available in real-time but are subject to blackout rules.  This means you won't have access to preseason games that are available on nationally televised broadcasts in your area.  In this review, we'll detail the blackout rules.

When are games available on NFL Game Pass?

The one drawback of NFL Game Pass is that you don't have instant access to all regular season games for the current NFL season. But how many games can you reasonably watch at one time anyway?

Although you don't have instant access to games, Game Pass does provide same-day access to all regular season games, playoff games, and the Super Bowl.

So what is the NFL Game Pass delay for regular season games?

  • Sunday morning and afternoon games (8:30 am CST, 12 pm CST, & 3 pm CST) will be available by 7 PM CST on Sunday evening
  • Sunday evening, Monday evening, Thursday evening, and Saturday games will be available as soon as the game ends
  • If you are currently using your NFL Game Pass 7 Day Free Trial, Thursday nights will not be available until 72 hours after the game

If you're like me and this sounds like an insanely fair deal, try Game Pass for free.

Watch entire games in under 45 minutes using Condensed Mode

Do you love NFL football but hate the commentating and dead time between plays? The Condensed Games feature of Game Pass allows you to watch all of the real action (from snap to tackle) in around 45 minutes. 

If you're in a hurry or just want to get the full game experience in as little time as possible, you'll really enjoy this unique option in Game Pass. This is also an efficient way to evaluate fantasy football talent if you plan on watching multiple games in one sitting.

To watch full NFL games game in under 45 minutes, simply click the Condensed button on the target game in the Game Pass control panel.

 

Watch Condensed Games in NFL Game Pass

 

Coaches Film viewing introduces two new angles for every NFL play

Coaches Film view in NFL Game Pass

NFL Game Pass recently added a Coaches Film feature that adds two new viewing angles for every play.  You'll have access to the same film perspective that coaches, GMs, and commentators use to take in all of the action.

These two new viewing angles are called All-22 and Endzone angles.

  • All-22 Angle - This angle positions the camera high above the field, ensuring all 22 players are in the view throughout the entire play
  • Endzone Angle - A high angle from above the goal post on the defensive side of the ball

Coaches Film can be activated from within the game viewer interface.  If you begin watching a game in this mode, you'll see each play replayed twice in succession.  First, it will be displayed in the All-22 angle, then again using the High Endzone angle (with the offense facing the camera).

All-22 Angle vs Endzone Angle

The two images below illustrate the viewing angles available using the Coaches View feature. As you can see, these two new perspectives are great for evaluating players that are close to the play as well as DBs that are far from the ball.

With these two angles, you won't miss a thing. Check it out for yourself.

All-22 Angle
Game Pass All-22 angle
High Endzone Angle
Game Pass High Endzone Angle


Curate playlists based on a wide range of game search criteria

The Search Plays feature of Game Pass is literally a search engine for NFL games.  You can watch specific plays or create playlists based on search results.  When searching games you can specify the following search criteria:

  1. Player Name
  2. Type of Play (Big Plays, Passing Plays, Running Plays, etc)
  3. Downs (1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th Down)
  4. Teams
  5. Weeks
  6. Season

NFL Game Pass Play Search Criteria

How to create a playlist for a specific player

Let's say I'm evaluating a player for my 2017 fantasy football draft: New Orleans Saint Michael Thomas.  Specifically, I want to view all passing plays involving Michael Thomas for the 2016 season.  In this scenario, I'd configure the following filters: 

  • Players: "Michael Thomas"
  • Teams: New Orleans Saints (b/c there are more than one 'Michael Thomas" in the NFL
  • Plays: "Passing Plays" (I don't want to see plays where he ran the ball)

The search results contain every passing play involving New Orleans Saint Michael Thomas.  From here you can either watch a specific play or watch the search results as a playlist by clicking the film icon (circled in the image below).  Plays in a playlist will be shown in chronological order.

 

Game Pass Play Search Results

 

If you're a fantasy football owner looking to gain an edge, you should be able to see how powerful a feature like this can be. Just search for the players you'd like to evaluate, start a playlist, and start taking notes. Very cool.

The preseason is the perfect time to try out Game Pass. Fantasy football drafts are right around the corner!

Access to NFL game archives as far back as 2011

Accessing game replays is as simple as selecting the desired NFL season and target week. Every game is available, from the preseason through the Super Bowl.

 

NFL Game Pass Game Archives

 

The games you request will appear in a grid, but initially without the final score displayed.  This is so you won't see any spoilers if you're planning on watching multiple replays and don't want to know the final scores yet.

 

NFL game results with no scores

 

 If you enable the "Scores" setting, the games displayed will show the final score and the winning team will be highlighted.

 

NFL Game Pass Show Scores Setting NFL game results with scores

 

Listen to audio versions of games instead of streaming video

Back in 2015, Game Pass was merged with NFL Audio Pass, a service that allowed you to access game archives strictly in audio format.  If you like to listen to games while you're running or working out, this will allow you to listen to games while using only a fraction of the bandwidth required to stream game video.

To listen to the audio-only version of an archived game, simply hover over the target game and click on the Listen button.  Please note that NFL Game Pass audio only mode is not available on some devices. 

 

Listen to NFL Game Pass Audio

 

With HomeTown Audio you can hear games called by your hometown announcers

Any football fan can tell you that games are so much more enjoyable when they are called by your hometown commentators. In addition to hearing the voices and personalities that you're accustomed to, hometown broadcasts frequently include sideline reports and player updates that aren't part of the televised broadcast.

When listening to any game in audio format, you are presented with the option to listen to the broadcast from the Home or Away team's perspective. Simply choose the option relevant to your team and you'll enjoy the full game audio from your favorite hometown personalities.

 

 

NFL Game Pass device support and compatibility

Game Pass is optimized to run on a variety of different devices including game consoles, phones, tablets, and televisions. For domestic Game Pass subscriptions in 2017, you can safely stream the service on the following devices.

Roku Streaming Players

XBox One Consoles

PlayStation 4 Consoles

Apple TV

Windows 8.1+ Phones

Windows 8.1+ Tablets

Android 4.1+ Phones

Android 4.1+ Tablets

iOS 7+ Phones

iOS 7+ Tablets

The Game Pass app can also be accessed through Airplay or Chromecast. For information on any other devices or International device support, see the official help page on device support.

Breaking down the NFL Game Pass price

No NFL Game Pass review would be complete without a discussion of price.  Many people (myself included at one point) think that Game Pass must be expensive based on the amount of content available through the service.  In reality, the price for this service is very affordable compared to other streaming packages from the NFL.

How much does NFL Game Pass cost in 2017?

For the 2017 NFL season, the price of Game Pass is $99.99.  If you consider that there are 256 NFL games played every season, you're looking at a cost of roughly $0.39 per game (not counting playoff games or the Super Bowl).  So the cost to watch an archived NFL game, on the same day it is played, is less than the price of a stamp.

Of course, if you're like me you'll only catch maybe two extra games each week.  Still, that's a little over $3.00/game over the course of an entire season.  That's not even counting the replays of my favorite team which I'll probably watch several times.  If you ask me, it's a stellar deal.

NFL Game Pass free trial terms and stipulations

I learned the ins and outs of this service by signing up for their 7-day free trial.  During the NFL Game Pass trial period, you will have access to all of the content that is available to paid subscribers.  

Game Pass offers their free trial throughout the year, so you can experiment with the service before making a buying decision.  The only stipulation they put on trial memberships is that you won't have same day access to Thursday night games.  Instead, you'll have to wait a full 48 hours to watch the replays. 

NFL Game Pass vs Sunday Ticket

NFL Game Pass vs NFL Sunday Ticket

When you stack it up against other NFL streaming services, the pricing for Game Pass is much more affordable.  At the time I'm writing this article, the cost of NFL Sunday Ticket is four installments of $69.99.  

Of course, comparing NFL Sunday Ticket vs Game Pass isn't exactly fair because with the former you get real-time streaming of all NFL games.  Still, the price difference between the two services is fairly significant. 

If you have access to DirectTV, you can get NFL Sunday Ticket for free.  However, you'll have to sign a lengthy contract for DirectTV service.

NFL Game Pass vs NFL Redzone

Other streaming services from the NFL, such as NFL Redzone, allow cross-coverage of various games that are going on around the league.  This service is an add-on to services that already provide the NFL Network.  

The pricing and availability for NFL Redzone vary by provider, but it cannot be purchased as a stand-alone streaming service like Game Pass.

How much is NFL Game Pass once the season starts? 

In previous seasons, the NFL Game Pass subscription cost has dropped slightly as the season progressed. I don't have exact numbers on this, but it was reported that in 2015 the NFL Game Pass midseason price dropped from $99.99 to $89.99.  So, unfortunately, you won't save a significant amount by waiting to purchase an NFL Game Pass subscription.

Are there payment plans available with Game Pass? 

Yes, Game Pass offers a flexible payment plan that allows you to pay for the service in monthly installments.  The catch is that you'll end up paying slightly more in the long run.

If you opt to pay monthly, you'll pay four installments of $29.99.  All together it will cost you $119.96 compared to the one-time price of $99.99.  So it's a few bucks more, but still an awesome deal and a way to start enjoying games right away even if you can't pay the full cost up front. 

NFL Game Pass promo codes, discount code, and coupons

If you search around the web you might find a few sites an NFL Game Pass promo code or coupon code.  Personally, none of these worked for me when I signed-up for my account.  You may have different luck but to my knowledge, these don't work.

The only NFL Game Pass promo that I see advertised, and which I have access to as an affiliate, is the 7-day free trial.  That's the best deal going if you'd like to try out the service for yourself.

NFL Game Pass International service

NFL Game Pass packages their service according to viewing country.  This means both plan features and plan costs will vary depending on where you watch NFL Game Pass.  

You might be surprised (and maybe even a little bit upset) to learn that International NFL Game Pass plans allow for live streaming of every NFL game.  On the contrary, NFL Game Pass live streaming simply isn't an option with the domestic plan.

So why would the NFL prevent its loyal fan base in the U.S. from streaming games live?  In the immortal words of George Carlin: "Well, you're just going to have to figure that one out for yourself".

How much does NFL Game Pass International cost?

NFL Game Pass International cost varies by the country where you're consuming the service.  For example, Game Pass subscribers in the UK might pay a different price than viewers in Germany.     

Which countries qualify for the NFL Game Pass International plan?

Just because you reside outside the contiguous United States doesn't mean you qualify for the International Game Pass plan.  You will still fall under the Game Pass Domestic package if you live in any of the other U.S. territories:

  • Bermuda
  • Mexico
  • Bahamas
  • Antigua
  • Puerto Rico
  • American Samoa
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Guam

To determine the cost of NFL Game Pass in your country, you'll have to visit the official website to view the pricing.  To check if Game Pass is available in your part of the world, review the official country list.

NFL Game Pass blackout restrictions & rules

Blackout restrictions are the result of deals between the NFL and regional TV partners.  The NFL agrees not to make live games available via stream so that their TV partners enjoy the largest viewing audience possible.  This results in more money generated from the advertisements aired during these broadcasts.

For domestic customers in the U.S. and associated territories, the only live games available on Game Pass are preseason games.  As such, blackout restrictions only apply to live preseason games.  So if there is national broadcast of a preseason game in your area, that game won't be available to stream live from NFL Game Pass.

If you're an international viewer, the NFL Game Pass blackouts get much more convoluted because you indeed have access to live games all season long.  For more information on blackouts, I advise you visit the NFL Game Pass website and look for blackout rules that apply to your country.   

Is NFL Game Pass worth it?

Game Pass isn't for everyone. Some people need the instant gratification of watching every game live. Unfortunately for these fans, they'll have to pay-up for an expensive service like NFL Sunday Ticket.

So what kind of NFL fan would benefit the most from a service like Game Pass?

1.  NFL fanatics who simply can't get enough

For the NFL fan who loves keeping up with all of the action across the entire league, you can't get much better than Game Pass. The ability to watch condensed actions means you can practically watch every game every week.

2.  Fantasy football owners who want to do their own scouting

The ability to watch live preseason games means fantasy football owners can actively scout before their fantasy draft. The two new viewing angles provided by Coaches Film make it easier than ever to evaluate players on your cheat sheets.

Once the seasons starts, you can continue to scout players on your league's waiver wire. The Play Search feature allows you to isolate those plays that involve a specific player, making it much easier to evaluate and prioritize your waiver requests each week.

3.  People who work during NFL broadcast times

If you are an NFL fan but work a Sunday afternoon or night shift, you're unfortunately going to miss the vast majority of games each NFL season. If you find yourself in this predicament, NFL Game Pass could be the answer.

If you plan on watching multiple games after their broadcast, you can even turn off scoreboard notifications during the replays. This way, you won't see the scores for those games before you get a chance to watch their replay.  

NFL Game Pass FAQ

How does NFL Game Pass work? 

NFL Game Pass works like any other streaming service.  For a yearly subscription fee, have on-demand access to NFL games (and lots of other football-related content) throughout the NFL football season.

As with most streaming services, you can access the video and audio archives (and live preseason games) from an assortment of different devices and gaming consoles.  

How do I get NFL Game Pass?

You can subscribe to the Game Pass service by visiting the official website.  Once on the official website, simply select the payment option you prefer and subscribe.

 

NFL Game Pass Payment Options

Does NFL Game Pass include playoffs?

Yes, with Game Pass you get access to all playoff games. However, the NFL Game Pass delay applies to domestic packages.  Customers of NFL Game Pass International will have instant, live access to playoff games.

Can you watch live games on NFL Game Pass?

With a domestic NFL Game Pass subscription, you can only watch live preseason games.  With NFL Game Pass International, all games are streamed live.

Conclusion

In this NFL Game Pass review, I discussed the main features of NFL Game Pass and how they might improve your NFL experience.  I also covered the pros and cons of the service as well as its varied pricing structure.

For the cost, NFL Game Pass provides incredible value. This is especially true when you compare it much more expensive packages like NFL Sunday Ticket.

Even the most hardcore fans can't watch every game in the NFL at that same time. Game Pass allows you to watch completed games when, where, and how you want. It's definitely worth the price of admission.

NFL Game Pass & Product Review
NFL Game Pass provides live preseason and archived NFL games on demand.
NFL Game Pass
Date published: 08/25/2017
4.6 / 5 stars
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