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NFL Game Pass is a subscription based audio and video service which allows users to hear and watch live and archived National Football League (NFL) games via an Internet connection. For users in North America, only out-of-market preseason games can be viewed live; full replays of all the games become available on demand after their original live broadcasts end. Live preseason, regular season, and postseason games are available to international users.
The NFL originally offered different subscription packages. NFL Audio Pass, formerly NFL Field Pass, was an Internet radio out-of-market sports package that provided live and archived audio broadcasts of NFL games. NFL Game Rewind provided archived games for users in North America to watch. And the original NFL Game Pass package offered live and archived preseason, regular season, and postseason games to international users. All of these packages were integrated into a single NFL Game Pass platform prior to the 2015 season.
Prior to 2002, NFL.com offered free broadcasts of its NFL games by special agreement with approximately 20 of its member teams. However, about the same time as the first Internet radio bust, the NFL decided to join the RealOne SuperPass system, a subscription multimedia service that provided various channels from major broadcast providers for a fee (hence the word "Pass" in the name). RealNetworks no longer manages NFL Audio Pass.
NFL Audio Pass
NFL Audio Pass provided audio feeds from the flagship English-language radio stations of all 32 NFL teams, broadcasting every preseason, regular season, and postseason game. To direct listeners to the service, the NFL had banned local affiliates from streaming NFL games on the Internet, although several stations still broadcast the games anyway and enforcement of this ban is inconsistent.
NFL Audio Pass coverage of the Super Bowl was unique. Because the NFL only allows one station to air a local broadcast for each team in the contest, NFL Audio Pass and Sirius Satellite Radio were the only options for those who want to listen to their home team but live outside of the flagship station's listening range. In addition to the team broadcasts, the NFL Audio Pass Super Bowl package included various foreign language broadcasts, live feeds from the stadium PA announcer, archives, and "press box" stat play-by-play.
In the past, from spring until August 1, NFL Field Pass opened up its archives to "free preview." All games from the past years were available for free during this window, as is live coverage of the NFL Draft and other live multimedia. This was not the case in 2009, though the free preview returned in 2010. Until its demise in 2007, NFL Europe live video broadcasts were also available on the service.
Prior to 2009, the national radio broadcasts on the Westwood One network (including the Pro Bowl, a Westwood One exclusive) were not available on NFL Field Pass. As part of a renegotiation of the broadcast contract, national Westwood One games, including all prime-time games, the Pro Bowl, and all playoff games, became available on Field Pass beginning in the 2009 NFL season. (Westwood One's Sunday afternoon doubleheader broadcasts, which are negotiated with individual teams separately from the national package, remain unavailable on NFL Audio Pass, as do those of the rival Sports USA Radio Network and Compass Media Networks.) Spanish-language broadcasts from Univision Radio and United Stations Radio Networks are also now available on NFL Audio Pass, although they are available for free on the Univision-NFL joint project, NFLatino.com.
NFL Field Pass and Game Pass during the 2009 season had a major outage on the season's opening Sunday (September 13) which left its subscribers without access to the service.
NFL Field Pass was renamed NFL Audio Pass prior to the 2010 season.
Starting with the 2015 season, Game Pass became available in North America, replacing the similar NFL Game Rewind service. At the same time, NFL Audio Pass was also integrated into Game Pass.