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John WP Fan

Watching Super League and NRL in Toronto

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Sorry this is so long, but the topic is confusing, and I'm frustrated. Maybe I can help someone else figure this out (or someone can help me!).

Last season  I started paying $20 extra each month to Bell to add Sportsnet World to my cable package, so I could watch Super League and NRL games. I was still learning about the sport and wanted to see the game played at a higher level. Sportsnet World showed a couple of games from each league each week. I didn't watch them all but I watched a bunch, mostly recording them and playing them back when convenient for me. I felt it was worth the extra $20/month.

I was too lazy/stupid to cancel the channel during the off season. Last week I saw Hull FC vs Castleford in the listings for Thursday (not a scheduled game last week) and got suspicious. It turns out that Sportsnet has pushed Rugby league off this channel into a pricier tier. And this is where it gets confusing.

Apparently these games are now available on the Sportsnet World Plus channels. But Bell Fibe does not carry those channels; they appear to be exclusive to Rogers cable (note: Rogers owns Sportsnet). I switched from Rogers to Bell 2 years ago, and I am not keen to switch back.

That's the TV side of things. Sportsnet also has a separate online offering called Sportsnet Now, with an app that allows you to watch on any of multiple devices, including the ability to Chromecast to your TV. It gets confusing trying to figure out how this works, and several emails to Sportsnet have not yielded full clarity yet. But appears that if I want to watch SL online, I would need to pay $28/month to subscribe to Sportsnet Now +, a still higher-tier of the online package.

I can find no details of which games will be shown or when. Sportsnet Now + does not seem to support watching games after they have been streamed, except for a limited 24-hour "lookback" option on limited channels that doe not include RL. The mish mash of TV vs online offerings is very confusing, and neither Sportsnet nor Bell seem to have any awareness of or knowledge at all of Rugby League to answer my questions.

I have canceled my subscription to Sportsnet World. Bell did not show any understanding of my request to refund the past 3 months of fees, based on my claim that they and their partner Sportsnet had lied about the offering. Bell's Fibe app showed a SL game in the listing for Sportsnet World up to last Thursday (it was not shown), and Sportnet's web site continues to claim that SL games are part of Sportsnet World.

Apart from switching my TV and internet back to Rogers (gag), my best option may be to subscribe to watchnrl and settle for watching NRL games only. I have enjoyed the NRL games more than SL. It's a better quality game and I have grown fond of a few teams (the Storm, Roosters and Rabbitohs). And watchnrl will let me watch every NRL game, plus State of Origin, and I can play back each game any time (over breakfast will often work for me).

OK, I feel a little better after venting. If there is a better (completely legal) option, I'd like to hear about it.

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30 minutes ago, John WP Fan said:

Apart from switching my TV and internet back to Rogers (gag), my best option may be to subscribe to watchnrl and settle for watching NRL games only. I have enjoyed the NRL games more than SL. It's a better quality game and I have grown fond of a few teams (the Storm, Roosters and Rabbitohs). And watchnrl will let me watch every NRL game, plus State of Origin, and I can play back each game any time (over breakfast will often work for me).

Well that was my choice last year. Without the Wolfpack, I would watch more Super League, but Wolfpack free on CBC and watchNRL that was enough for me and already quite expensive on top of it. I thought about going with SNNOW at the end of the season to watch the SL playoffs, but with the Wolfpack run in the Qualifiers, I didn't get a chance to click it.

For this year I still don't know if I'm doing the same. Moving to France I have other options to consider. But if I stayed in Canada, I'd do the same I think.

I hope at some point the RFL will realize that getting a watchRFL app is the way to go. They already have it but only in countries where they cannot sign a TV deal. And where the TV deal is signed, the broadcaster gets TV and streaming and do whatever they want.

What SN does with Super League coverage after promoting the sport years ago is really annoying. I'm sure they will put games on SNWL at some point, but if you subscribe to SNWL for rugby league only, better go with SNNOW+, but then you cannot tape games and on demand is limited to 24h, another ridiculous thing.

Other legal options? Moving to the USA and watching on Fox Soccer Plus. Virtually moving is good too.

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Being a tech savvy cord cutter (well, more accurately, went straight to OTA broadcast TV and streaming so never had a cord to cut), I've dabbled in pretty much all the options available.

CBC Sports

All Sky Sports or Toronto Wolfpack produced TWP games available.  Not sure about Summmer Bash or Magic Weekend game(s) in 2019.  Free, HD.

Update: Apparently, if last week's coverage of York City Knights vs Toronto Wolfpack is indicative of the year to come, the CBC website/app will also include on-demand full match replays.

Sportsnet Now / Sportsnet+

Gave Sportsnet Now a shot, last year, testing it out over the month where Toronto played at both the Magic Weekend and Summer Bash.  Wolfpack produced CBC streaming wasn't an option for those games, in 2018, which made the service worth a try.  Sadly, my experience was: Weak selection, with RL as an afterthought; limited, if any, on-demand playback if you cannot watch live; unreliable schedule, listing either incorrect teams or start times; and delayed playback if something more popular was on at the same time as the Super League games.  Cancelled after just one month and have no desire to return.

Sportsnet Now was a waste, then, at $20/month; and is now a complete joke, with the Sportsnet+ ("Premium") package being required, for any Rugby League, and demanding a hefty $30+ per month once taxes are included.

IF money is no object, or IF you are BOTH a non-tech savvy cord cutter who watches an unhealthy amount of Leafs/Raptors/Jays as well (live only), then go nuts.  Otherwise, take your money elsewhere and rely on free options for RFL Championship/SL games.

Semi-Legit/Pirated Streams (Reddit / IPTV / etc)

I'm not going to see this post removed, or get myself banned, for posting any links.  That said, if you want to watch non-TWP Super League content in Canada, this is sadly the best option.

OurLeague

Live streams not available in Canada.  Would happily pay for it, if it were.

DAZN

Good service.  Great service if you are also into RU/EPL/ChampionsLeague/LaLiga/etc.  No Rugby League, though, despite my requests via customer service.  IF you subscribe, then you should pester them for some RL, as well.

WatchNRL

What a paid streaming service should be!

This app has excellent video quality, easily least on par with any paid streaming service I have seen.  EVERY game is available live, with match replays being available all season right back to Round 1.  International tests, occasional womens (NRLW) and lower league matches all included.  FOX League 24/7 live channel included, as well as on demand viewing of every single show which airs.  Almost perfect.

The only downsides to this service are limited (honestly, almost non-existent) off season content and no 4K@60fps; which really says more about the current quality of the service than it does represent any genuine concerns.

Edited by ChoboMog
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16 hours ago, ChoboMog said:

Being a tech savvy cord cutter (well, more accurately, went straight to OTA broadcast TV and streaming so never had a cord to cut), I've dabbled in pretty much all the options available.

CBC Sports

All Sky Sports or Toronto Wolfpack produced TWP games available.  Not sure about Summmer Bash or Magic Weekend game(s) in 2019.  Free, HD.

Update: Apparently, if last week's coverage of York City Knights vs Toronto Wolfpack is indicative of the year to come, the CBC website/app will also include on-demand full match replays.

Sportsnet Now / Sportsnet+

Gave Sportsnet Now a shot, last year, testing it out over the month where Toronto played at both the Magic Weekend and Summer Bash.  Wolfpack produced CBC streaming wasn't an option for those games, in 2018, which made the service worth a try.  Sadly, my experience was: Weak selection, with RL as an afterthought; limited, if any, on-demand playback if you cannot watch live; unreliable schedule, listing either incorrect teams or start times; and delayed playback if something more popular was on at the same time as the Super League games.  Cancelled after just one month and have no desire to return.

Sportsnet Now was a waste, then, at $20/month; and is now a complete joke, with the Sportsnet+ ("Premium") package being required, for any Rugby League, and demanding a hefty $30+ per month once taxes are included.

IF money is no object, or IF you are BOTH a non-tech savvy cord cutter who watches an unhealthy amount of Leafs/Raptors/Jays as well (live only), then go nuts.  Otherwise, take your money elsewhere and rely on free options for RFL Championship/SL games.

Semi-Legit/Pirated Streams (Reddit / IPTV / etc)

I'm not going to see this post removed, or get myself banned, for posting any links.  That said, if you want to watch non-TWP Super League content in Canada, this is sadly the best option.

OurLeague

Live streams not available in Canada.  Would happily pay for it, if it were.

DAZN

Good service.  Great service if you are also into RU/EPL/ChampionsLeague/LaLiga/etc.  No Rugby League, though, despite my requests via customer service.  IF you subscribe, then you should pester them for some RL, as well.

WatchNRL

What a paid streaming service should be!

This app has excellent video quality, easily least on par with any paid streaming service I have seen.  EVERY game is available live, with match replays being available all season right back to Round 1.  International tests, occasional womens (NRLW) and lower league matches all included.  FOX League 24/7 live channel included, as well as on demand viewing of every single show which airs.  Almost perfect.

The only downsides to this service are limited (honestly, almost non-existent) off season content and no 4K@60fps; which really says more about the current quality of the service than it does represent any genuine concerns.

Its all so complicated...what the hell is happening to this world?...I just want to turn on the TV and watch RL....

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Are the Wolfpack games only shown on Sky in Canada?Iv'e tried a couple of times to watch them on Sky  without success.

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9 hours ago, frank said:

Are the Wolfpack games only shown on Sky in Canada?Iv'e tried a couple of times to watch them on Sky  without success.

The Wolfpack games are broadcast on GameTV, which is usually free with most cable packages on Rogers and Bell. The games are also streamed on cbcsports.ca

 

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12 hours ago, frank said:

Are the Wolfpack games only shown on Sky in Canada?Iv'e tried a couple of times to watch them on Sky  without success.

Sky/SkySports doesn't broadcast in North America, or exist in any meaningful form on this side of the Pond, despite being a big deal in the U.K. and often the source stream used by major broadcasters over here for European sport.

Toronto Wolfpack games were originally produced by the team itself, with 2018 feeds provided to GameTV and CBC Sports for broadcast and online streaming respectively.  In 2019, SkySports was added to the mix, without sacrificing the two partners from the previous season, broadcasting all Wolfpack games, typically on SkySports Arena in the U.K.  Originally, I thought that SkySports were simply going to use that same Wolfpack produced feed; however, it seems as if the first few games have come with proper announcing, as well.  Not sure what the deal is for games at Lamport; but I'll be there in person, so it's less of a concern.

I still can't wait for the Toronto Wolfpack to hit the more mainstream TSN/SportsNet channels, possibly something like DAZN, or especially on an OTA-available HDTV channel like CBC/CTV/Global; but that's gonna take a few years.

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SNNOW will show both NRL all star games, women and men. No sign of the game on watchNRL though.

And no sign of the World Club Challenge anywhere, is it shown in Canada?

 

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2 hours ago, manu266 said:

SNNOW will show both NRL all star games, women and men. No sign of the game on watchNRL though.

And no sign of the World Club Challenge anywhere, is it shown in Canada?

 

I had earlier seen the Wold Club Challenge listed as an upcoming game on watchnrl but now it's not there. I plan to sign up for the watchnrl trial in time for NRL Round 1 in mid-March.

Did Sportsnet World end up showing any SL games last week?

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2 hours ago, John WP Fan said:

I had earlier seen the Wold Club Challenge listed as an upcoming game on watchnrl but now it's not there. I plan to sign up for the watchnrl trial in time for NRL Round 1 in mid-March.

Did Sportsnet World end up showing any SL games last week? 

I thought I saw the World Club Challenge on last year's WatchNRL schedule, and it has indeed disappeared from this year's.  It may still show up on FOX League, which is included, or as a live/on-demand "special".  That said, given how good the WatchNRL coverage throughout the season/playoffs/internationals, I would easily give them a pass if this one game goes AWOL.

Sportsnet, on the other hand, continues to leave a bad taste in my mouth.  The online schedule doesn't list what is available live/on-demand with the expensive SNNow+ package, and not a single Rugby League game is even scheduled on any of the other half dozen channels they broadcast.  If I am going to pay for a service, especially that much and in an era where streaming is replacing traditional broadcast distribution, there is no excuse to not cover make every game/round available.

 

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From watchNRL :

Quote

Thanks for contacting Watch NRL.

We can confirm that the All Stars match will be available to stream both live and on demand.

Unfortunately, we do not have the rights to show the World Club Challenge game.

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So, somewhat unexpectedly, an interesting announcement just showed up in my e-mail inbox, indicating that there now exists a Sportsnet SN NOW+ package as an annual subscription marked down to $199 CAD per year if purchased by March 31, 2019 (reg. $249 CAD):

Quote

unnamed.thumb.jpg.9e9dea755ff4e78492cb263f3ffbea6b.jpg

This is the package which includes all the extras, like some Super League coverage,

After gathering feedback from past and current subscribers, Sportsnet NOW has launched an Annual Pass!

Comprised of the same content as the SN NOW+ package, the Annual Pass will be available for $249.99 plus tax.

As a special introductory offer from March 7 – 31, 2019, the Annual Pass will be on sale for only $199.991 plus tax—a savings of $50.

Don’t miss out on this deal! Lock in savings during the busiest time on the sports calendar.

Purchase between March 7 - 31, 2019 and get 12 months of SN NOW+ content for only $16.67/month!

https://www.snnow.ca/support/introducing-new-pricing-package-options

This is actually the Plus (+) package which includes all the extras; and, when you consider it's now $199 CAD per year instead of $27.99 per month ($335.88 per year, if paid monthly) it had been, that's not such a bad deal.  Despite my less than stellar review above, I am actually tempted by this price drop.

I'd be willing to be the price drop has nothing to do with rugby league, and is actually a direct response to DAZN's acquisition of Premier League and UEFA Champions League games for the coming years and it's less expensive price point; but if you were on the fence before, now might not be a bad time to go for it.

Edited by ChoboMog

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49 minutes ago, ChoboMog said:

So, somewhat unexpectedly, an interesting announcement just showed up in my e-mail inbox, indicating that there now exists a Sportsnet SN NOW+ package as an annual subscription marked down to $199 CAD per year if purchased by March 31, 2019 (reg. $249 CAD):

This is actually the Plus (+) package which includes all the extras; and, when you consider it's now $199 CAD per year instead of $27.99 per month ($335.88 per year, if paid monthly) it had been, that's not such a bad deal.  Despite my less than stellar review above, I am actually tempted by this price drop.

I'd be willing to be the price drop has nothing to do with rugby league, and is actually a direct response to DAZN's acquisition of Premier League and UEFA Champions League games for the coming years and it's less expensive price point; but if you were on the fence before, now might not be a bad time to go for it.

Hmmm. Thank you for posting this!

Very interesting timing, as I'm about to start my 2-week free trial of watchnrl next week, and then decide whether to buy a month of that or the whole season. This is now about the same price. Do I want all NRL games (most of which I won't watch) on a great platform, or some NRL (probably enough, though not always the game(s) I might choose) plus some SL, on a lesser platform. It's not a simple decision now. State of Origin might be the tie-breaker (likely not on SN Now+, and definitely included in watchnrl).

Thinking...

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Wait a minute; just remembered that SN Now+ doesn't let you watch games on demand after they have been played. That's a deal-breaker for me, as I almost never watched RL games when SN was broadcasting them. They really do mean "Now"!

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3 hours ago, John WP Fan said:

Very interesting timing, as I'm about to start my 2-week free trial of watchnrl next week...

 

3 hours ago, John WP Fan said:

Wait a minute; just remembered that SN Now+ doesn't let you watch games on demand after they have been played. That's a deal-breaker for me, as I almost never watched RL games when SN was broadcasting them. They really do mean "Now"!

Yeah, IF your focus is exclusively, or even anywhere close to this, to watch Rugby League, then WatchNRL is the gold standard.  All games; live + on demand; all TV shows, 24/7 TV channel etc.  There is, quite simply, nothing anywhere close for the RFL.  I love it and am happily going to renew.  I just wish there was a combo deal for WatchNRL and WatchAFL ?

IF you also watch the Blue Jays, Raptors, Leafs etc., and don't have cable, then SN Now+ (after the price drop) is a good choice.  The SN Now+ FAQ does list the ability to use a "look back feature" for games you miss, which is essentially an on-demand feature.  However, with no personal experience, I don't know how well it works, nor do I know whether casting to a TV is an option.  I would love for someone who does know to let us know, though.

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11 hours ago, ChoboMog said:

 

Yeah, IF your focus is exclusively, or even anywhere close to this, to watch Rugby League, then WatchNRL is the gold standard.  All games; live + on demand; all TV shows, 24/7 TV channel etc.  There is, quite simply, nothing anywhere close for the RFL.  I love it and am happily going to renew.  I just wish there was a combo deal for WatchNRL and WatchAFL ?

IF you also watch the Blue Jays, Raptors, Leafs etc., and don't have cable, then SN Now+ (after the price drop) is a good choice.  The SN Now+ FAQ does list the ability to use a "look back feature" for games you miss, which is essentially an on-demand feature.  However, with no personal experience, I don't know how well it works, nor do I know whether casting to a TV is an option.  I would love for someone who does know to let us know, though.

I am pretty sure SN Now or Never+ does support casting, but I read the lookback feature was very limited, and surely won't be available for any RL games, which they barely mention anyway.

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2 hours ago, John WP Fan said:

I am pretty sure SN Now or Never+ does support casting, but I read the lookback feature was very limited, and surely won't be available for any RL games, which they barely mention anyway. 

The Sportsnet SN Now app definitely supports casting for any/all live content, as when I gave it a try I only watched content on my TV.  It might even have an Android/Apple TV app, as well.

What I am not sure about is whether the lookback feature, specifically, supports casting since it is only available through the Sportsnet website.  We probably won't know for sure until somebody takes one for the team and gives it a try.  I may go for it, and will update everyone if/when I do; but I am going to wait until towards the end of the promotion period to bump that $199 CAD hit into the next credit card cycle ?

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