Shutdown Corner - NFL

Since the inception of MLB.tv, I've wished the NFL would offer a similar online package. I'd like access to all out-of-market games, in HD quality, on my computer, with the ability to easily switch between games or watch multiple games at once.

Just about every other major sport offers it. Why shouldn't the NFL?

Well, they've taken a step in that direction. The NFL is offering up preseason games for live streaming via the internet in 2010. Every game is available, with the exception of the ones that are on national TV, and you can watch them live on your computer.

For $40. Once again, that's forty frickin' dollars. For preseason games.

Through all the talk about expanding the regular season to 18 games, and in regards to a possible new collective bargaining agreement, what have we heard out of Roger Goodell's office? "Oh, the fans don't want these preseason games. We're ripping off the fans by making them pay for these games! We need to do the right thing! FOR THE FANS! YAY!"

Uh-huh. That's what they say. But when it comes time to offer up access to these games that they freely admit are useless and boring, they still want $40 from you to watch them.

Yeah, they care about the fans. They want to keep us juuuuust interested enough that we'll keep spending money.

Now, I'm not anti-preseason. I like to watch the preseason games of my favorite team, to get a look at the backups and rookies and see how the depth chart might evolve. Other teams' preseason games? No thanks. I'll be okay without seeing the spectacle of Gibran Hamdan(notes) throwing interceptions to Johnny Sears(notes) in front of 19 fans at the tail end of a 35-14 "contest."

Essentially, the four Chargers games are what I'm buying, so it comes out to $10 per preseason game. That's a pretty big price tag for something "the fans don't want."

I know, I know -- "If you don't want it, don't buy it." I'm not going to. But just keep this in mind during future CBA negotiations when the commissioner says that the league doesn't want to keep ripping off fans by charging premium prices for preseason games.

Gracias, PFT.

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