Watching sports safely online

(Note to non-sports fans: You are not off the hook on this e-mail. There are parallel examples to getting free movies, songs, and potentially software online as well. Also I am not referring to legitimate sources of free or subscription based content like Pandora, You Tube, iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, and Netflix. )

If you don’t remember anything from this e-mail — the take away is — there are(basically) no free, live sports games online that come from legitimate websites.

The only free big time games I have seen online in recent years, for free, with no strings attached are the NBC Sunday Night NFL games. You can simply visit NBC to watch those. I do not know if they will continue the policy this year. Also for the past couple of years, people have been able to watch the Super Bowl for free online, at least when NBC was hosting it.

Content is not free. ESPN and three of the big networks (FOX, NBC, CBS) pay the NFL billions of dollars each time they sign a multi year contract for football games. Sports TV is a huge business. There may be opportunities to watch non-televised games on your computer, tablet, or Apple TV or smart phone — but they are going to come via legitimate sources — either on a pay per view basis or as an add-on to your existing pay TV subscription. Then of course, you have to deal with “blackout rules”. If you are in Connecticut, you won’t be able to buy an online subscription to watch Red Sox games on your computer. Why? There is too much money already invested to get that game on NESN via a really expense cable TV package. I don’t agree with it, but I can’t change the game. If your favorite teams do not live in this area, then you have a lot of options for watching your favorite teams online, but there are costs involved.

Start with legitimate sources. If you want to watch ….
hockey games — check out NHL.com
For basketball — try NBA.com
For Football — NBA.com
For baseball — MLB.com
For Tennis — TennisChannel.com
For Premier League Soccer — NBCSports.com (they bought the rights to show the games in the USA)

Many of these leagues have pay per game, per team, and per season options. The NFL had an interesting option in place a few years ago. You could watch all the games on a 1 day delay for a $80 per year. I am not sure if they still offer this, but its a great deal for football junkies.

What if you just Google free ______ games and click on any website that comes up? There is a strong chance that you will be directed to a website that wants to install something on your computer and your system will be trashed. It’s not worth the risk. You may see your game for a few seconds and then have your machine taken over by a legion of malware.

Whether it’s a free movie, couple of songs, or a free game, that so called free media could very well earn you a bill of several hundred dollars with your local “Computer Doctor.” While I appreciate the business, knowledge is power and live sporting content is a pay to play game. You will get what you pay for.

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