Want To Watch NFL Playoffs Online? You’ll Need To Be A Cable Subscriber For Some Games

Streaming video technology and broadband speeds have improved to the point where watching live TV online can be almost indistinguishable from the real thing, which is one reason why many people have cut ties with their cable TV providers in recent years. But if those cord-cutters — or any DirecTV subscribers who happen to be away from home — want to watch all of the NFL playoff games online this month, they’ll need to get a friend’s cable company login.

See, while NBC and CBS have decided to make their playoff games free for all online, Variety reports that the folks at FOX have opted to put their games (all of the NFC playoff bouts except this Saturday night’s Saints/Eagles game) behind its “TV Everywhere” paywall, which requires users to log in via their participating cable company.

Let’s put some stress on “participating,” as the current list of cable/satellite providers that have made deals with does not include the nation’s second-largest subscriber base, DirecTV.

It’s unclear which list of participating providers will be used, as there is this larger group of cable companies that have deals with FOX to give subscribers access to new FOX shows shortly after their initial airing, or if watching the games online will be done the FOX Sports Go, which has fewer participating cable and satellite providers.

Either way, if you’re a cord-cutter or a DirecTV customer, it looks like you won’t be watching this Sunday afternoon’s Niners/Packers game online without someone else’s cable login.

On a personal note that will probably result in hate mail: Go Iggles!

[via GigaOm]

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  1. webalias says:

    I’m a big fan of Consumerist, but appalled that this article appears to condone using “someone else’s cable login” to obtain access to football games or any other such programming. Yes, the cable companies are ripping us off left and right, sometimes with the help of “soon-to-be-employee” government regulators. It’s outrageous, too, that deals that keep NFL games off the public airwaves are allowed — given the amount of public tax dollars that are funding stadiums around the country. But the fact that cable, Fox, and perhaps the NFL are unscrupulous doesn’t give consumers the right to steal. We are better people than they are (though admittedly, they set the ethical bar pretty low).