Oct 27, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; The Arizona Cardinals take the field to start the game against the Atlanta Falcons at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
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Sunday NFL football has seen an evolution in the way fans watch games. In the mid-20th Century, the living room was the center of the armchair action, followed by the proliferation of sports bars starting in the 1990s. Today’s viewer has all of that plus social media, dozens of NFL Network channels and live streaming video and NFL Game Rewind, which allows users to view full replays of every current season game.
Directv’s NFL Sunday Ticket allows fans to watch up to eight games at one time. You can read more about cable channel options at www.GetDirectTV.org; the service offers pro-rated NFL Sunday Ticket packages if you join late in the season.
Mobile NFL Apps
Teams are also creating mobile apps so fans can become engaged with their favorite teams. The Arizona Cardinals, for instance, delivers the content of the team’s official site. It’s a good way to get fired up about the Cards, including clips of great plays, details about upcoming games, trivia about cheerleaders and draft picks, and forums where you can chat about anything Cardinals-related.
What We Like
- It’s free. The depth and breadth of info should probably cost at least a couple of bucks, because you get easy access to interviews, standings and places to buy tickets. You’ll also find links to Cardinal fan sites and podcasts, such as the Big Red Rage and Cardinal Underground.
- Fantasy info. Some fans go beyond rooting for their players by virtually drafting them in fantasy football leagues. Sometimes you have to go to separate sites for player info but with this app, it’s all in one place.
- Easy connection. This app goes way beyond the official Cardinal Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest sites. SportTechie.com said the Cardinals organization focuses on connectivity in a big way, including making sure the University of Phoenix Stadium has the bandwidth to handle lots of fans tuning in. When you check in with the app, your image can appear on the big screen, and you’ll get access to things like the closest concession stand.
What Could Be Better
- No live games. This app is great for classic clips, but fans would love to watch live clips or at least something fresh, like highlights from the last quarter of today’s game or at least the opening kick-off.
- Not enough interaction. Today’s mobile users want to feel connected to their brands, including sports teams. The AZ Cardinals app offers nothing new for fans who have spent years shouting at TV screens when plays go wrong. We’d like to see a coach hold an official Q&A or almost-live moderated chat. There are always going to be haters, especially this season, but true fans will stay supportive.