NBC Sports Gold 2018-2019 Review (EPL)

Logo of NBC Sports Gold.
NBC’s pay-per-sport streaming service: NBC Sports Gold. It’s streaming quality is just average.

EPL soccer games can be a challenge to watch if you live in the USA.  Various services offer various ways to get to various games (and all for various $$$!).  Not all games are broadcast on a single network.  Most annoyingly, not all games for your favorite team are broadcast on the same network.  That means hopping around every few weeks looking for your game and making sure get that “stream” in place before kickoff!  (Oye, it’s no fun fiddling with getting your Roku connected to a stream just before the game and you have a few pals over all back-seat driving your efforts).  But I digress…

pic of EPL schedule
Sample EPL Schedule showing live matches on NBC Sports Gold.

For various reasons, Newcastle United games this year (2018-2019 season) are showing up on NBC Sports Gold more often than anywhere else (such as Sling Blue or NBCSN, which would be great, as the Sling service is very good, very affordable, very easy to manage).  To get to those Newcastle United games this year, I have to buy the “Season” from NBC Sports Gold, which will get me a variety of EPL games through the end of the season.  The biggest EPL match-ups are not there, but NUFC is.  So, for a one-time fee of $49.99, I will get to watch several NUFC games, plus various other EPL games that might be of interest (hello Everton!).  In my mind, if I watch 5 games, that’s a ten spot per game.  If manage ten games, well then $5 per game is palatable to me.  Not too bad, but not too cheap.

Pic of Roku menu.
NBC Sports Gold channel on my Roku.

The streaming quality of NBC Sports Gold is average.  It could be way better, but it could also be way worse.  I am using a pretty zippy Google Fiber service, so any limitations are going to either be in my router or device(s), or on the NBC Sports Gold side.  I am pretty sure it’s the latter for me (based on excellent quality streaming from other services like Amazon Prime that come through to me just fine).  My opinion is NBC Sports Gold is not giving it’s all into providing the best quality stream.  Alas, it’s *just* good enough to not be annoying and I get to watch my games.  It does have 1 or 2 buffering drop-outs per game for me, which sucks and often times the only solution is to reconnect/reboot the stream (whilst I get pelted with pretzels or beer from others in the room).  I am using a pretty current Roku device.  Again, this is all my experience– yours might be way better based on location or other device combinations.  I have my doubts though.

pic of tv menu
Inside view of the NBC Sports Gold app menu within roku.

For the EPL fan, if your teams happen to be on NBC Sports Gold, you pretty much have no choice but to subscribe if you want to see them in action this season.  It does offer replays which is pretty sweet.  You don’t have to get up way early on Saturday mornings.  Just go for the replay later that evening, when enjoying your pint with the game is much more fun.  I’ve done this and it can work if your cheeky friends don’t ruin it for you.

Sources:

https://www.premierleague.com/clubs/23/Newcastle-United/overview

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