SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – If you’re looking to watch Syracuse Football look to go 5-0 this season against Wagner College on Saturday evening from your house, you will have to pull out a smart TV or streaming stick.
The game is scheduled to air on ACC Network Extra and ESPN+. ACC Network Extra is accessible via a cable subscription, provided that subscription contains ESPN. ESPN+ is a standalone service that works within the same application.
Matt Beach, owner of Ale n’ Angus Pub in Syracuse, lacks the technology needed to show the games. He subscribes to Spectrum for the pub, but does not have the streaming devices needed to watch Saturday’s game.
“Sometimes, you just gotta weigh your options… is one Thursday Night Football game worth going through all the hassle to get all this?” Beach said.
This game is not the first to upend the viewing experience for Central New York sports fans. Amazon Prime Video is airing every single Thursday Night Football game this season on its online platform, only putting games on linear TV in the home markets of each team.
“Everybody is money hungry,” Beach said. Everybody wants a piece of the pie,” referring to the owners of the sports leagues and the television executives bidding for rights to show games.
The Buffalo Bills play the New England Patriots on Dec. 1. Central New Yorkers will be able to watch that game on one of the major broadcast stations in Syracuse — that station has yet to be determined.
Fans of the New York Yankees in the region have also dealt with numerous games being put on Amazon Prime Video and other platforms. The Yankees currently air 21 games per season exclusively on Prime Video, games that previously aired on WPIX-TV, New York City’s CW affiliate, and WSTQ-LP, Syracuse’s CW affiliate. These games are produced by the YES Network, the primary broadcast home of the Yankees. Prime Video will allow Sep. 29’s game against the Baltimore Orioles to also air on YES, as Yankees slugger Aaron Judge looks to pass the American League single-season home run record set by Roger Maris.
Last Friday, while Judge was stuck at 60 home runs, the game was shown on Apple TV+, which signed a deal before this season to become the exclusive broadcaster of two national games each Friday. Apple TV+ showed the Yankees-Red Sox matchup, along with the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. the St. Louis Cardinals — in which, Cardinals player Albert Pujols hit the 699th and 700th home runs of his career.
Dennis Deninger, professor at Syracuse University’s Falk College, says these games are a way to make money beyond ratings.
“Amazon is going to be a champion at monetizing that,” Deninger said. “You’ll be able to click on the shoes you see on screen and have them come up as a menu… Amazon hasn’t even started what they can do, but it was important for them to get into it — and they see this as a means of forcing people to subscribe to new services. so, in their first Thursday night NFL game, in those first 3 hours, they signed up more subscribers than they had in the previous month.”
“It is a boon for them…it’s an inconvenience for all the rest of us, in that we used to be able to get things on one device through one source, and now, you’re having to multiply this out,” Deninger said.
Deninger said household names will continue to see the spotlight on national TV, while more niche products will get shifted to streaming — something Beach agrees with.
“Unless you’re an Alabama, a Clemson, a Georgia, whatever… Kentucky in Basketball, Duke in Basketball, the world is revolved around money right now,” said Beach.