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Niners Nation After Dark: Viewing 49ers Games Online

NN After Dark 2
NN After Dark 2

Welcome back to Niners Nation After Dark. It's been a quiet weekend in the NFL world as the two sides met prior to the weekend to do some mediating. They seem to be agreeing to some kind of gag order for now, which can only be good for removing the cat-fight element of this whole battle. We'll see how long it lasts or if it even helps.

Earlier this afternoon Since79 posted a FanPost looking for paid or legal free viewing options for NFL and MLB action. The folks at Major League Baseball have taken care of online viewing through MLB.TV. For the price of $100 or $120 for the season (some extra bells and whistles at the higher rate) you can watch just about every Major League Baseball game out there. While there are some blackout restrictions, you're generally covered for almost all the games.

The NFL on the other hand does not seem to offer any such a deal, and it baffles me that they do not. How does the NFL not see the financial value of some kind of streaming option during the season? FOX and CBS provide "free" viewing of games since it's part of the most basic tv option. DirecTV offers their Sunday Ticket to watch every game, and then Comcast has its Red Zone channel.

All these options have their perks, and as a 49ers fan in San Francisco able to watch games at their normal time, I really don't need anything else. However, there are plenty of folks at NN and elsewhere that do not have access to many of these options. Some folks outside the Bay Area are not able to get DirecTV for one reason or another (for example, living in an apartment building). Other folks are at work during games and thus can't watch the games.

Why not provide some kind of limited online subscription service to watch NFL games? Part of the reason has to be the NFL's deal with DirecTV. However, this is more an issue when a person does not have a TV with which to watch NFL action. If I'm at home I have to think I'm a bit more inclined to go with DirecTV than I am to go with the online viewing option. If only because of the better quality on my TV.

Is the DirecTV reason of such concern that it keeps the NFL from moving towards an MLB.TV style of online viewing? The NFL does have a substantially different business model when it comes to central television revenue so I guess that plays a major role. It just seems ridiculous for all the people out there without the chance to watch the 49ers (or whatever their NFL team is) on Sundays.