First, let me start off with a little story of my own. Living in the northeast for the last few years, the only way I could make sure I saw every minute of every Chargers game was to get DirecTV and their NFL Sunday Ticket package. It worked out nicely enough during Chargers games (except when it rained), but during non-Chargers games I always had a dilemma. What game should I watch? Which one interested me the most?
So, for the first season or so that I had it, I'd pick 2 games (with 1 emergency backup) and flip back and forth between them. I'd usually miss big plays and there would always be that point where all 3 games were in commercials at the same time. There had to be a better way. Enter DirecTV's Red Zone Network (different from what's mentioned above, but we'll get there).
One day I stumbled on this channel and for every season since it had been my home when football was on, but the Chargers were not. It was perfect - no commercials, no flipping channels, no trying to figure out which games are still interesting and which are now out of reach. It was like having a butler that was watching all the games at once and deciding which would be most interesting to watch, flipping the channels for me, and letting me never watch another commercial again. It was football bliss.
Cut to last Friday. The first NFL weekend is about to start, and I no longer have DirecTV. I had heard about this NFL RedZone Channel (this one is owned and operated by the NFL Network, whereas the Red Zone Network is owned and operated by DirecTV), but would it be the same? I thought to myself "I could probably just watch whatever 3 games I get locally....right?" 10 minutes after thinking this, I was on the phone with my television provider ordering the RedZone Channel and breathing a sigh of relief that I would be watching the best games, the best plays and no commericals for 6+ hours on Sunday. It was heaven.
Now, it's obvious that this product is perfect for any fantasy football player (there is no better way to follow your fantasy team, period) or general NFL fan, but the question becomes....what about those people that only like watching their hometown San Diego Chargers? Well, there's a very good reason you should be thinking about purchasing this channel too: Blackouts.
We will most likely find out later today that this Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Chargers home opener, will be blacked out in San Diego. This means that watching it live, on your couch, on CBS, is not going to happen. You will most likely have to wait until the game is over and watch a replay of it either on TV or on NFL.com. While the game is live, you'll be forced to watch some GameCenter box that tells you what's happening on each play with little dots and text scrolling across the screen. Or....maybe there's a better way?
The RedZone Channel is not subject to blackouts. This means you get every big play or every big game, no matter where you are or how many tickets went unsold. So, this weekend, instead of staring at some dots and text on your computer screen you could be watching all of the big plays across the NFL....including any from the Chargers/Jaguars game!
If I were going to be in the blackout area this weekend, I would thank my lucky stars that I already had the RedZone Channel purchased and would be sure to catch any news, scoring plays and/or big moments from the Chargers game. It may be Chargers fan's only option for enjoying the game live without purchasing a ticket this weekend, and (I imagine the price differs by provider) you can get this magical channel for the entire season for about what it would cost for you to buy one ticket to one live NFL game.
Back to my story for a second. I was finishing up my phone call with my television provider last week, and ensuring that I would be watching the best football without commercials all weekend, and I said "One more thing, is this channel available in HD?" I heard the gentleman chuckle, he sounded like he had a few years on him, and he responded "Is it even worth watching football without HD these days? Of course it is." Awesome.
Now, I'm not sure which local San Diego providers are participating in it, but it would appear the the NFL RedZone Channel is doing a free preview weekend this Sunday. You may want to check with your provider to see if you're included. This will let you dip your toe in and feel how lovely the RedZone Channel waters are, otherwise I'd recommend purchasing the channel anyways and guaranteeing that you catch every big play the NFL has to offer each Sunday.
So, yes this is a sponsored post. However, I think at some point last year I did a post telling you all about my love for DirecTV's similar channel and that was completely unsponsored (and it's essentially the same deal, just different hosts and this one is cheaper/more available). I am a huge proponent of this channel, it has made my Sunday football-watching experience ten times more enjoyable, and will gladly answer any questions you have about it in the comments below.