TV Answer Man, I am excited that DIRECTV will do Amazon’s Thursday Night Football in bars this season. I thought we would miss out because our Internet at our house sucks. But my question is how will we know what bars will have the games? That’s not so easy to find out. Same for Sunday Ticket. It’s a lot of guesswork. Can you help us out? — Cary, Santa Monica, California.
Cary, as you know, DIRECTV and Amazon last month signed a multi-year deal that will permit the satcaster to provide Thursday Night Football broadcasts to more than 300,000 bars, restaurants, hotel lounges and other business venues.
For the first time, Amazon this season has the exclusive rights to the TNF games but the DIRECTV agreement is an acknowledgement that many commercial establishments are not yet equipped to handle the streaming of live sports.
DIRECTV has been providing NFL Sunday Ticket games to bars and restaurants for more than two decades, a service that is well regarded within the industry. The satcaster should be able to deliver the Amazon games without difficulty or significant delays.
But how will fans know which bars and restaurants will show the games via the DIRECTV transmission? And speaking of the NFL Sunday Ticket, how can you find out which fine establishments will show DIRECTV’s package of out-of-market regular season NFL games?
With the first NFL Sunday just 10 days away, and the first Amazon TNF game two weeks from tonight, these are questions that are starting to trouble some fans.
But don’t worry. The TV Answer Man is here to help as usual.
All you have to do is download DIRECTV’s Sports Bar Finder, an app that uses GPS to map sports bars and other venues that subscribe to the satcaster’s programming, specifically select offerings such as the Sunday Ticket, NBA League Pass, NHL Center Ice, Longhorn Network, Big Ten Network, SEC Network and more. (If the bar subscribes to ESPN, which is detected and labeled in the app, the Amazon Thursday Night Football games will be available there.)
(Click here to see the Sports Bar Finder on a desktop.)
The Sports Bar Finder, which is available from the Apple App Store and Google Play, will allow you to search your area, select your favorite bars, and filter selections by packages, channels and networks.
For instance, let’s use Santa Monica, California as an example. There are a slew of choices that have both the Sunday Ticket and ESPN (which provides access to the Amazon games) such as Cabo Cantina on in the 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica Whaler on Broadway, Rock ‘n Pies on Wilshire, Tipsy Chef on Main Street, and Ashland Hill on Main Street. There are also several places that carry either the Ticket or ESPN but not both so depending upon your interest, you can check out those as well.
The app also has a daily sports schedule with listings information which you can also see here.
If you’re a sports fan who likes to frequent drinking establishments, the Sports Bar Finder is a must-have. And it’s free.
But before I end this endorsement, I would still recommend calling the bar in advance just to be sure it will show the game you are interested in. Technology is never perfect and the Sports Bar Finder is technology after all.
But that said, download it and give it a spin.
See a demonstration of the Bar Finder below:
Cary, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann