Part of the draw of streaming services are the features available for soccer fans in their viewing experience. On cable TV, audiences must follow a singular game. From there, they are subjugated to the individual game in chronological order.
Of course, DVR opens up the doors for rewind, but other bells and whistles are not commonplace.
That is where streaming thrives. For one, the cost is lower than most cable or satellite packages. Moreover, streaming simply has more features to make the soccer experience more enjoyable for the fan.
This does not just apply to replacements for cable. fuboTV, YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV and more all have these features. Individual platforms such as ESPN+, Paramount+ and Peacock have options that suit the content. In a perfect world, all of the streaming services would have all of the best features.
Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. Soccer fans need to subscribe to a variety of services to watch the top leagues. ESPN+ has LaLiga, FA Cup, League Cup and the Bundesliga. Paramount+ has Serie A and the Champions League. Peacock has almost half of all Premier League games. beIN SPORTS carries Ligue Un. Clearly, it is a maze.
Each has their perks, and each has their drawbacks. Here are some of the best features for soccer fans available on these streaming services.
Best streaming features for soccer fans
Multicast (ESPN+) or Multiview (fuboTV)
Part of the challenge of watching soccer is the need to focus on multiple games at once. While recordings are certainly an option, social media warrants soccer fans to watch games live at the risk of spoiling results.
ESPN+ and fuboTV have features that allow you to watch multiple games at once. In fact, on both features, users have the ability to watch up to four games on one screen concurrently. On major weekends, the benefits of this are clear.
Also, it does not have to just be soccer. Any event on either fuboTV or ESPN+ can be cast on the screen along with the beautiful game.
The only blemish is that ESPN+’s Multicast and fuboTV’s Multiview are only available on the Apple TV. If you are just using a desktop, laptop, phone or tablet, there is no option for multicast. The benefit of needing a large screen make sense, as putting four different games on a six-inch screen would be overwhelming.
Yet, for the TV, multiple games at once is near-essential for weekends of soccer.
Multiple languages (Paramount+)
Paramount+ exceeds at coverage of Serie A. Each game is available on the service, and there is a strong group in charge of studio coverage. Yet, in terms of in-game commentary, one of the best parts of CBS’s coverage of the Italian top flight is the option for languages.
Viewers have the option of listening to the Italian broadcasts of Serie A games, which truly gets the emotion across as to what each game means. Granted, not all viewers can necessarily understand the Italian commentary. However, watching Italian soccer in Italian adds to the overall experience. Plus, if the desire is ever there to watch in English, that option exists.
Key Plays (Peacock)
Anecdotally speaking, some of us wake up early to watch the Premier League. While that is earlier for some than others, Americans lose sleep to watch the most competitive domestic league in Europe. So, one of the best features available on streaming services comes from Peacock in its Key Plays feature.
If watching a game, viewers can easily catch up on the major moments from earlier in the match. That could be a goal, save, penalty or even just a shot that got the crowd to go on edge for a split second.
For those unwilling to wake up with the sun, it is a pivotal feature to use. Audiences can feel like they have seen all the major moments, without actually watching all the minutes. In the fluid nature of soccer, where broadcasters seldom show replays, this is key for those that are late to the start of a fixture.
There are plenty of other options available when it comes to streaming. Paramount+ occasionally has its whip-around show The Golazo Show with the UEFA coverage. However, you cannot pick the audio you want to listen to. Similarly, applications have picture-in-picture, which is a more barebones version of this format.
Audiences could also enjoy the use of statistics. fuboTV has statistics pages that are available called Fan View. This has possession, shots, fouls, bookings, saves and more that refresh as the game progresses.
Which of these features do you think is the best for streaming soccer in the United States? And which streaming service has the best features in your opinion?
PHOTO: IMAGO / Panthermedia
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