Saturday, September 17, 2022

Watching college football games this weekend: Week 3

For the first time this season, all of the networks that carry games will all have at least one game this weekend. In the first three weeks -- Week 0, Week 1, Week 2 -- at least one of the networks, often two or three, didn't have any games on their schedule.

That is no longer the case. Every network has a game. That's because Longhorn Network, which carries Texas home games, has a game. NBC and Peacock, which carry Notre Dame home games has a game. NFL Network has a game. This will happen again many times this season. I think it will. Sure it will. Probably. Yeah.

Anyway, if you want to watch all of the games this season, you need access to all the networks. And, as you will see, that can get expensive. Of course, you might not want to be able to watch al the games. You may have only a single team, or a few teams, you care about. We'll show you how you can watch the games, whatever the games might be.

Well, most of the games. Four Saturday games will not be on these networks. A couple surprise me, but that's how it goes. Here are the networks carrying games:

  • ABC
  • ACC Network
  • Big Ten
  • Big 12 Network
  • CBS
  • CBS Sports Network
  • ESPN
  • ESPN 2
  • ESPN 3
  • ESPN U
  • SEC Network
  • ESPN+
  • Fox
  • Fox Sports 1
  • Longhorn Network
  • NBC
  • NFL Network
  • Pac 12 Network
  • Peacock

Here is how to watch these networks:

ABC

  • Antenna, over the air, free.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

ACC Network

  • Sling Orange, with Sports Extra, $46/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, with Sports Extra, $65/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Choice, $90/month.

Big Ten Network

  • Sling Blue, with Sports Extra, $46/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, with Sports Extra, $65/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Choice, $90/month.

Big 12 Network

Big 12 Network games are available through ESPN+.

CBS

  • Antenna, over the air, free.
  • Paramount+ Premium, $10/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

CBS Sports Network

  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Ultimate, $105/month.

ESPN

  • Sling Orange, $35/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $50/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

ESPN2

  • Sling Orange, $35/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $50/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

ESPN U

  • Sling Orange, $35/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $50/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.
  • Fubo TV Elite, $80/month.

ESPN3

ESPN3 is usually included with a service that carries standard ESPN/ESPN2.

  • Sling Orange, $35/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $50/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

ESPN+

ESPN+ is a standalone sports programming service. It is not the same thing as regular ESPN that you get with cable or one of the live streaming services. Some content from ESPN, ESPN2, or other ESPN networks may be available on ESPN+, but often, it's content that is only available on ESPN+.

  • ESPN+, $7/month.
  • Disney Bundle, $14/month.

Fox

  • Antenna, over the air, free.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

Fox Sports 1

  • Sling Blue, with Sports Extra, $46/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, with Sports Extra, $65/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

Longhorn Network

  • Sling Blue, with Sports Extra, $46/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, with Sports Extra, $65/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.

NBC

  • Antenna, over the air, free.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

NFL Network

  • Sling Blue, with Sports Extra, $46/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, with Sports Extra, $65/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.

Pac 12 Network

  • Sling Blue, $35/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $50/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • Fubo TV Pro, with Fubo Extra, $78/month.
  • Fubo TV Elite, $80/month.

Peacock TV

Peacock is a standalone streaming service that carries NBCUniversal programming, including much sports from NBC as well as exclusive sports programming. Peacock Premium is $5/month, but is included with Xfinity Internet plans.

SEC Network

  • Sling Orange, $35/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $50/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Choice, $90/month.
  • Fubo TV Ultimate, $100/month.

This list of networks covers all the games airing today. It also covers games next week through Friday, as the early games next week are all on one of these networks.

To watch all the games, having an antenna won't really matter, as in order to get all the networks, you'll need services that cover the OTA stations. So, how much to watch them all?

The services necessary will cost $118 That's $65 for YouTube TV with has most of the networks, $46 for Sling TV Blue plus Sports Extra to get Longhorn and Pac 12, $7 for ESPN+.

If you want college football in your Streaming Life, you have options, though it can get expensive depending just how many games you want to watch.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Ads work

This week, I had a conversation with a 20-something at work. She was talking about movies with her manager, and mentioned that they subscribe to seven streaming services.

I mentioned my method of subscribing to only one or, if the cost is low, two streaming services each month, rotating them around. She seem a little interested, and I mentioned the pricing, and how I do it. She corrected my numbers on the cost of Hulu, and that's when I realized that she was paying for the no-ads plan. She said she can't watch ads.

I hear that a lot from younger people. They will pay more money to simply not watch ads. Personally, I would rather save the money. Heck, there might be an ad for something I want, or it might let me know about some sale, and I can get what I would buy anyway, but for a lower price. Saving money twice.

There are plenty of people like her, but a new survey indicates there are more that watch ads. And, most importantly to the advertiser, the ads are making the difference they want them to make.

Roku released a news story this week about a poll they commissioned from Harris, and it shows exactly that.

This year’s survey of nearly 2,000 U.S. adults who plan to purchase gifts finds that holiday shoppers plan to shop earlier, increase spend, and turn to TV streaming for entertainment and information.

"The holidays reveal the shopping trends that will shape the year ahead," said Asaf Davidov, Head of Ad Measurement and Research at Roku. "Brands that message value, ramp up advertising early, and surprise and delight in streaming TV are set to take the share this season."

Ads can work, for both the advertiser and for the consumer. And doubly for consumers that use lower priced, ad supported services. And sometimes, lower priced means free.

I like saving money in my Streaming Life. And ads help make that happen. And, according to the poll, do exactly what they are supposed to do, meaning that there will continue to be ad-supported discounted, or free, services for some time to come.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Netflixx to drop binge releasing orginal content?

There were a few reports recently suggesting that Netflix was considering releasing its original series content in a more traditional way. Netflix has previously released its series all at once, allowing its subscribers to binge watch the new shows, same as it had for older shows.

Most of the recent news articles referred to a report from Puck News [pay wall warning] that said Netflix was considering changing its model. I have a couple of thoughts on that.

The main thing is that most of the articles all refer to that one source. So, seeing a dozen or so reports doesn't really carry weight, since they all have a single source. When there is only one source, that causes questions in my mind.

If there are multiple sources, that indicates there may be something to it. But when everything goes to a single source, that doesn't carry as much weight.

Having said that, if the single source is a good one, then it's a good source. And this seems to be good source.

Oh, and one other thing. I found a second source that nobody seems to be quoting. CNBC had an article in June that suggested the same thing:

Despite the success of its marquee series, however, Netflix is struggling to jumpstart subscriber growth. So its binge strategy is facing new scrutiny as the company looks for ways to better retain its subscriber base.

"With Netflix, or anyone, never say never," said Peter Csathy, founder and chairman of advisory firm Creative Media. "Just like they said 'no way, no advertising,' don't assume that binge viewing is forever." He added: "Binge viewing is on the table."

I understand why Netflix would switch away from that. If a 13 episode season drops today, I could watch it in a matter of a few days, even on just a weekend if I totally vegged out in front of the TV. Netflix would get a single month subscription from me.

If they released the series one episode a week for 13 weeks, they would get three months subscription from me. Well, not really, but from many.

I would wait until the entire season was released, then binge during a single month. Yes, I'm that cheap.

If Netflix does make the change, it might impact the Streaming Life of many people. But, the economics of the situation may make it a move the streaming giant has to make.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Why doesn't DirecTV Stream carry NFL Sunday Ticket?

Fans of the NFL who are streamers are sometimes frustrated that they can't get NFL Sunday Ticket with a streaming package.

In fact, some NFL fans won't fully cut the cord because of this. NFL Sunday Ticket is that important to some fans of the league.

For those that don't know -- and yes, NFL fans, there are those that don't know -- NFL Sunday Ticket is a service where you can watch out of market games. It won't carry local games that are available over the air or on a local cable system, but is very useful to fans who want to watch games otherwise not available.

In the USA, DirecTV, the satellite service, is the only way to get it. DAZN, a streaming service, has it in Canada, while SKY Mexico, a pay TV service, covers most of the rest of North American. Some other cable services handle the Caribbean and South America. But here in the USA, it's DirecTV.

Do you ever wonder why it's not available on DirecTV Stream? So do others. Recently, TV Answer Man Phillip Swann was asked the question. And he found the answer, though it's not really the answer most are looking for.

Simply put, the contract that DirecTV has with the NFL is only for satellite, and does not authorize streaming. And the NFL won't discuss a streaming option.

The TV Answer Man column does a great job of laying it all out, and I would suggest going there and reading it, if you've wondered why DirecTV carries it, but DirecTV Stream doesn't.

So, if you've been wondering why you can't get NFL Sunday Ticket as part of your Streaming Life, you now know. But, there's hope that could change next year, as the current contract is up soon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Roku Express will FINALLY be dual-band WiFi

When I got my first Roku device in 2010, it operated on both the 2.4 GHz WiFi band and the 5 GHz band. That wasn't that common. And, in fact, only the top tier Roku device -- the most expensive one -- supported 5 GHz as well as 2.4 GHz.

If you aren't familiar with the differences between the bands, just understand that 2.4 GHz is older and has some issues. 5 GHz is newer, and has its own issues, but is generally better performing overall for most people.

Smaller and older devices support 2.4 GHz only. Most devices these days are dual band, meaning they can connect to either. Most will use 5 GHz if it's available and a decent signal.

Around 2015, 5 GHz became much more widely used, and became more common on cheaper devices. Roku had included dual band on all devices except the entry level ones by late 2013.

For the past nine years, that has remained the case. The low tier, entry level Roku devices have been 2.4 GHz only. The Roku 1 and Roku LT were 2.4 GHz only. When the Roku Express and Express+ replaced them, they were 2.4 GHz only.

In one of Roku's weirdest naming decisions, the Roku Premiere and Premiere+ originally was dual band, and was essentially a Roku Ultra with a few bells and whistles missing. It was dual band. However, in 2018, they downgraded the Premiere and Premiere+ from a scaled down Ultra to a souped up Express. And it lost the 5 GHz connectivity, being 2.4 GHz only. Like I said, merely a souped up Express.

When the newer but primitive Premiere line was replaced with the Express 4K series, that had dual band, leaving only the basic Express as the last 2.4 GHz only device.

That finally changes on October 13, 2022. The Express will be upgraded and the new model 3960 will be dual band. For the first time, all Roku devices will be dual band.

Roku is late to the party on this. Other lineups by Apple, Google, and Amazon have been all dual band for a while. And with the recent behavior of ISPs that changed the 2.4 GHz settings on leased devices, many Roku Express users have had major issues with connectivity. The ISPs were wrong for just up and changing settings like that, but Roku was way behind on technology by not offering dual band on their top selling, cheapest device.

I'm glad to see it. Only I know people, and some people will say that Roku is simply trying to get folks to buy a new device by making the older one stop working, when it's actually the fault of the ISPs. Roku should have done this years ago. But, in a month, it will be done, and the issues will start to go away as fewer and fewer of the older 2.4 GHz only devices remain.

If you're thinking about getting into streaming, or simply looking to add an additional but cheaper device to a second (or third) TV, either do not get a Roku Express, or wait until October 13 to get one. Make sure it's dual band. That will make your Streaming Life so much easier.

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