Fans aren’t pleased with being forced to watch the Cardinals-49ers game on Amazon Prime.
Saturday’s game between Kyler Murray’s Arizona Cardinals and Kyle Shanahan’s beat-up San Francisco 49ers won’t be available on TV, as the NFL is leaning fully into the online streaming boom by making this game only accessible through Amazon Prime Video of Twitch.
One common complaint is how difficult the game can be to actually find, even for those with an Amazon Prime subscription. Many older fans who are unfamiliar with the technology and just want to watch some post-Christmas football are having some trouble.
Initial impressions of Amazon Prime's exclusive NFL game, via former Fox Sports exec Clark Pierce: "I was just on a call with my Dad explaining how to get the 49ers-Cardinals…it is a generational conversation happening all over the country right now."
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) December 26, 2020
The Cardinals-49ers game on Amazon Prime has proven to be a technical nightmare
The Prime feed features Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer on a traditional broadcast-style feed, with the “Scout’s View” broadcast featuring FOX Sports host Joy Taylor and NFL Network analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks in a more relaxed environment serving as an alternative way to watch. While both of these broadcast teams have been received very well, the difficulty in accessing this broadcast has proven to be a huge obstacle.
While the general consensus on those two teams has been that they range from average to slightly above average, most of the ire towards Amazon has been due to the lack of ease in pulling the game up and the unfriendly user interface.
I don’t get how y’all hate Hulu’s interface when Amazon Prime Video’s interface looks like a warehouse.
— Dr. Sebi’s Smoothies (@_heyyymscarter) December 26, 2020
— Papa Mentos (@jalusam) December 26, 2020
Hey @JeffBezos #AmazonPrime #NFL this product is a disgrace. Completely unwatchable. Techmo bowl looks better than this shit. Failure. Spend some of that anti union money on infrastructure to stream nfl games instead of union busting. pic.twitter.com/XGlQMQyeaC
— frenchy (@frenchy477) December 26, 2020
That NFL on Amazon Prime sounds like it needs a total redo when it comes to the streaming quality.
— Mike 🇵🇷 🇺🇸 (@mike_h1990) December 26, 2020
Some fans, like USA Today writer Charles McDonald, were a bit blunter in their critique of the broadcast.
NFL on amazon prime is disgusting lmao
— charles (fedex slayer) mcdonald (@FourVerts) December 26, 2020
While the game is also being broadcast on Twitch, the platform is primarily used for video game streaming, and the website trying to shoehorn in a live NFL game hasn’t exactly worked very well.
The 49ers and Cardinals are kicking off live, only on Twitch and Prime Video right now!
— Twitch (@Twitch) December 26, 2020
Putting a game solely on a streaming platform isn’t inherently a bad idea, but doing so without telling some less tech-savvy fans how to access the broadcast shows that the league didn’t really think this plan through, Hopefully, this dry run serves shows the NFL where their online-only production failed and how they can improve it for 2022 and beyond.