Help with Game Broadcasts while Flying

Submitted by StephenRKass on November 15th, 2011 at 12:15 AM

So, I have the bum luck of being in Paraguay during the Nebraska game, and in the air back to Chicago during the Ohio game. I pretty much am forgetting about seeing any of the game this Saturday.

However, I'll be on an American Airlines flight, on a Boeing 738, during the first half of the Ohio game.

I see that I can get Wi Fi on some flights. Does this include American 738's? Do any of you know how I would go about finding an ABC stream of the game while in the air? I guess this shows I'm too obsessed. Then again, if I was really obsessed, I wouldn't be out of access for the games anyway!

Seriously, help in what I need to do to watch the game while airborne would be greatly appreciated. (And I searched for that already, so please spare the "LMGTFY" thing.)



November 15th, 2011 at 12:21 AM ^

The spirit of intoxication caused me to GTFY, and I found this: "Your in-flight Internet connection is just like the one you get with most wireless mobile broadband services on the ground."

No idea if that is enough. There is my contribution. 


November 15th, 2011 at 12:25 AM ^

Try the Watch ESPN app if you have an iphone/ipad or similar device.  I used it to watch the beginning of the Michigan game this weekend and it worked great.  It only works if you have specific internet providers at home (I have Verizon FIOS).   However, there's an option for a short trial (maybe 24 hours) which might last  long enough for you to see the game at least. 


November 15th, 2011 at 12:25 AM ^

As I learned the hard way, there is no wifi on international flights currently. This is due to the way wifi on flights currently work. The wifi signals are actually relayed to the plane using ground stations all around the United States. United Airlines is looking to deploy wifi on their international flights through the use of satellites but it hasn't started yet. I also am pretty sure that flights with live tv do not allow for broadcasts of live games, at least I couldn't get Sunday night baseball to work.


November 15th, 2011 at 12:46 AM ^

FYI, the in-flight internet they provide is incredibly slow. No way there is enough bandwidth to provide a quality stream. One of my flights had it for free courtesy of google, but it wasn't very beneficial. I had to wait about 10 minutes just to watch a youtube video.

I think your best bet would be to try to find a radio broadcast of it, but that might not even stream that well. I think American uses gogo for their wifi ( Gonna cost you about $14 for a 24-hour pass. IMO, not worth it for the shitty internet they provide. I would set it on record and go on media blackout until you make it home.


November 15th, 2011 at 12:50 AM ^

Airline internet is costly, but last year on Delta they were giving you free wifi during the holidays (specifically Thanksgiving in my case). So maybe you'll get lucky with American.


November 15th, 2011 at 7:03 AM ^

I'm in Cork and feel your pain... I only caught the first quarter of the illinois game, then had to head ot the airport, so i followed all the updates via twitter/espn apps.  I'll still be in Cork for the Nebraska game, i just need to find a pub that has ESPN though, and hopefully i'll be set.

Best bet is to not watch the game at all, and catch the replay on espn3/espnwatch.  Just never turn your cell phone on and avoid any texts.


November 15th, 2011 at 8:17 AM ^

Try iheartradio. I have used it on several cross country flights.  You can use 106.9 FM out of Grand Rapids to get brandstatters call of the game


November 15th, 2011 at 8:33 AM ^

I agree with the people saying to stream the radio broadcast instead. I flew home a month ago from Orlando on AirTran. Was able to stream 97.1 over on my iPad and listen to the entire Wings game. I've never had a 2 1/2 hour plane ride go by so fast.

Edit: I've noticed some people talking about price and slowness. On AirTran I paid $5 on the way down to Orlando and $10 on the way home. For the money I thought it was totally worth it. Now if I was flying to Chicago or New York which only takes about an hour I don't even think it would be worth it. I also noticed very good speed also. Faster than the WiFi in the Orlando airport that I was using.


November 15th, 2011 at 8:39 AM ^

I was on a Continental/United cross country flight(s) and the planes had DirecTV for purchase for $8.  I know it doesn't help you since you are flying American, but something to think about for those flying during sporting events in the future.  


November 15th, 2011 at 8:40 AM ^

Continental, Jetblue and Frontier.  These are the only airlines you should book if you ever have to be in the air during a big game.  Bless the man who was smart enough to put DirectTV in airplanes.


November 15th, 2011 at 9:43 AM ^

I flew Frontier a couple of weekends ago, and the Direct TV was $6 (and $8 for a movie).  I usually ignore the extra charges airlines try and hit you with (and didn't use it on the flight out at 6 am on Saturday for Law and Order and ESPN sportscenter reruns), but on the way back being able to watch the Steelers-Ravens, and flipping to the World Series of Poker made the flight a lot shorter. Worth every penny.  I think if I had to travel during game time, I'd check and see who has that service first.

Naked Bootlegger

November 15th, 2011 at 8:43 AM ^

You're oh-so-close to Bolivia!   Might as well take a casual jaunt across the border and lose 3000 MGoPoints in the process.

I had the unfortunate timing of being mid-flight for the Lloyd-ball UM-Florida bowl game.   I was pleasantly surprised, however, to listen to the first 3 quarters on the airline ESPN Radio broadcast.   If AA offers WiFi, I'm sure they offer in-flight radio?   The OSU game has to be one of the offerings on national sports radio that Saturday afternoon...maybe?




November 15th, 2011 at 9:04 AM ^

I will be flying Miami to Denver round trip on the next two Saturdays and my hope is to be able to watch the games on DVR without knowing the outcome.

State Street

November 15th, 2011 at 9:08 AM ^

This summer I flew transcontinental on American Airlines.  I assumed my flight would have wifi, and when I called them they were ambiguous as to whether my plane would actually have it.  Much to my dismay when I boarded I was informed that my flight did not have wifi.  Bummer.

Even if you do have wifi, I attempted to watch the National Championship hockey game last year on an Airtran flight and GoGo inflight wifi was useless.  I was watching four squares of different colors for seconds at a time, before the internet cut out and rebuffered.  This was on ESPN3.

I'd say you might be out of luck either way and might be better off following it on ESPN Gamecast or other similar gametracker.  


November 15th, 2011 at 11:24 AM ^

Gogo inflight is the wifi provider for all US airlines.   I tried to watch Netflix on the plane once and it didnt work.  I ended up doing an online chat with one of their cust service reps and he said there is just not enough bandwidth for live video.   You can watch the little slider move back and forth on the ESPN Gamecenter  (I remember "watching" us lose to Ohio in a hotel room in New Delhi 5 years ago).   Streaming radio may work.