NESN, which broadcasts Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins games, launched a new streaming service today for live games.
NESN 360 became the first regional sports networks in the U.S. to offer a direct-to-consumer streaming service without cable.
New England-based sports fans can now watch live Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins games without a cable subscription. The service is priced at $29.99 per month. New customers can get their first month for $1.
And annual subscribers who pay $329.99 will get eight tickets to a 2022 Red Sox game, “of their choosing, while supplies last,” NESN said in a statement.
Currently, the only live TV streaming services that carry NESN are fuboTV and DIRECTV STREAM.
NESN 360 will only be available to fans within the New England market. Fairfield County, Connecticut won’t have access to NESN 360 because it is part of the New York City market.
NESN 360 will likely be a more attractive option for some cord-cutting sports fans given its pricing.
fuboTV subscribers pay $69.99 per month, and an additional $8.99 per month regional sports fee to get NESN.
DIRECTV STREAM subscribers pay $89.99 per month to get NESN and NESN National under its Choice bundle.
NESN 360 does not require a contract, allowing customers to cancel whenever they like.
“NESN 360 is the latest iteration in NESN’s long history of innovation and providing fans with the best sports viewing experience,” said Sean McGrail, NESN’s President and CEO.
NESN eventually left both services, most notably when it split ways with YouTube TV in October 2020.
“We believe the direct subscription option will build on NESN’s reach in the region, and will be an excellent complement to the existing, valuable partnerships we have with TV providers to bring NESN to all homes in New England,” McGrail said.
NESN360 is launching with live feeds and a video on demand (VOD) library. NESN said on Wednesday that NESN360 will launch with more than just live Red Sox and Boston Bruins games.
I signed up for service this afternoon. My early impression is that NESN 360 is having a solid launch. The picture quality looked on par with High Definition resolution. And the audio was consistent and clear.
And just like with any other cable channel, there are commercials.
I was able to simultaneously get a live stream on my PC, smartphone (on a web browser) and Roku TV. The Roku TV gave me a live feed from within the NESN app, not a new NESN 360 app.
I don’t know yet how many simultaneous streams are allowed. But I did notice that the live feed on my Roku TV was a few minutes behind the live stream on the PC and smartphone.
I was watching the end of the Woo Sox vs Syracuse game. That could be just an early kink that will get ironed out, but it’s worth knowing if you are considering signing up for NESN 360. You can pause, rewind and fast forward in small increments.
NESN 360 hasn’t officially launched on Google TV, but there is a NESN 360 mobile app on Android with Chromecast support. Within the mobile NESN 360 app, I had options to cast to my Google Chromecast, NVIDIA Shield and Sony OLED TV with Google TV.
I tried the Google Chromecast in my office. The live feed started out a little choppy during the first 30 seconds, but then stabilized with a crisp image and good audio.
Currently, NESN 360 is available on a computer, iOS, Android, Apple TV or Roku device. Cable subscribers can also activate the NESN360 app. NESN360 will eventually gain support for Amazon Fire TV and Google TV powered Smart TVs and devices, according to NESN.
In the months ahead, NESN also expects to add 4K HDR support, Cloud DVR and original programming.
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble