News and views on all things American Football from a fans perspective

Not a good advert GamePass. In fact not an advert at all…

When it was first muted a new European version of Gamepass was being rolled out, I had my concerns. A fully immersive experience with local content was the catchy phrase. What? What was the issue with the old Gamepass? Not once did I ever feel separated from events on the pitch. And as for local content? I’m watching a sport taking place on fields of green thousands of miles away. I don’t care about local content. 

Anyway, ignoring the initial fiasco during the auto-renewal, payment etc, my concerns went into over-drive as it became apparent there was more than just teething troubles during pre-season broadcasts. It’s pre-season, don’t worry, it’ll be sorted I thought to myself.
Fast forward to the opening fixture of the 2017 season; a tasty match-up between the always underrated Chiefs against the Super Bowl champions, New England Patriots. I didn’t watch any pre-game build up, obviously unaware of what horror was coming my way, and timed it just right for kick-off. No issues (apart from the app logging me out just in time to miss the Chiefs first TD), HD streaming, all was looking relatively well. Then NBC went to commercial and that was when my mood darkened. 
American Football is known for game duration. “Why does it last for more than three hours?” The uninitiated ask. I have had the good fortune of attending NFL matches in America and they fly by. There is no such thing as a break. There’s cheerleaders, there’s brass bands, there’s crowd competitions, there’s kiss cams, there’s getting-your-photo-of-you-and-your-family-in-full-NFL-regalia up on the big screen. Now obviously viewers at home do not experience this full on entertainment and they have to put up with the commercials to fill the gaps between plays.
Me personally, I love the American adverts way more than the UK versions. I want to know which pick-up truck can carry the biggest pay-load. I want to know how strong an Aluminum flat bed is on a Ford F-150. I want to see a never ending line of Chevrolet’s appear behind a door as unsuspecting customers don’t have the savvy to work out the the fourth car to win an award may be a Chevvy since the first three were. I want to see Lionel Ritchie serenading Peyton Manning on a Sunday Morning. I want to listen to which phrase Peyton can ‘sing’ to the tune of Nationwide is on Your Side. I want to see pizza. I want to see beer. I want to see stunt drivers driving muscle cars like maniacs along with a message of do no try this at home, I actually want to go and fly on Southwest airlines just to see how the airline check in staff actually behave (anyway you want it, that’s the way you need it, anyway you want it, oh oh oh oh……..), I want to see grey haired guys taking tablets which will cure them of erectile dysfunction and finally get back to satisfying their wives who just happen to be absolutely gorgeous, and being perfectly honest, whom I occasionally fantasise about (although I get the distinct impression that the wife may be a professional model and not actually his better half). I
Instead, what does the new GamePass give us? Without doubt, the most mundane image of an NFL football in a strange hue of blue with the tantalising message of ‘coverage will resume momentarily’. Do you know what makes watching NFL feel as if it lasts for hours? Watching the GamePass blue screen of death every time the NFL go for commercial.
So come on Gamepass. Before you deliver on your promise of a ‘fully immersive experience’, how about just delivering the army of loyal NFL Fans an ‘experience’. Now where did i put those tablets…….
Image courtesy: NFL GamePass EU

Join the discussion

  1. Spencer

    Is that the best image they display during ads? A football with the old NFL logo.

  2. Chris

    This seemed to be limited to TNF only from what I could tell. Watched three games through GamePass over the weekend and all had the US adverts included

    • Stuart

      I read today that it is the Thursday Night and Sunday Night games which can’t show the adverts for some legal reason although a solution is being worked on.

  3. David Jones

    Agree completely, of course.

    Watching blacked out ads is unreal. It’s like dead air on the radio. An unforgivable broadcasting sin. Run something. Run highlights from the preseason if you have to. From the superbowl. Better yet, get imaginative. Run a contest for amateur NFL podcasts and fill it with that. Put up fan tweets so people watching the black silence can interact. But, nothing? That is a creative and professional black hole.

    But what is even worse is that they left them in when they archived the game.

    I watched the Giants game on Monday night and the interminable breaks of bleakest blackness are still there. What, they couldn’t snip them out?

    But apparently the stats in archive mode are “live” and update depending on where you are in the broadcast.

    So that is one thing that was really difficult to implement but that nobody sane would ever care about – and they implemented that – and one thing that would be an absolute doozy to implement that is a huge obstacle to enjoying the game – that they are not implementing.

    If you aren’t going to cut the blank ads in the archive at least give me a fast-forward-to-end of ad button. Or something.

    The new GP is a like a sports car that the designers forgot to put any doors on. The bells and whistles are irrelevant. Please, give us basic functionality!

    • Stuart

      Totally agree, David. The lack of anything during the breaks actually ended up ruining the game. It was impossible to switch off mentally for the breaks but then switch on as soon as the game play returned.
      I would have even been happy if it showed upcoming fixtures, logos of the teams, last seasons final division locations, anything but a bleak screen to keep the mind from wandering. Love the idea of fan tweets. I couldn’t believe how many people were complaining about the blue screen of death during the broadcast.
      Definitely have to get the broadcasts sorted before worrying about the stats.

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