Review: NBC Tour de France All-Access iPhone App
09 Saturday Jul 2011
First and foremost. I bought the All-Access for $29.95 to view on my MacBook Pro, BUT streaming video is blocked on my computer at work (disappointing, but understandable), so I downloaded the mobile version for my iPhone as well.
I am not happy about having to pay another $15 to also have access on my phone when I had already purchased ALL-ACCESS. This is a classic bait-and-switch by NBC, possibly illegal … certainly unethical. $15 for mobile access alone is not a bad price, but people who paid for the online access should be granted mobile access as part of their original subscription fee.
But, I’m a Tour junkie, so I ponied up … again. And am disappointed. Again.
Last year’s app, offered by Versus (prior to their acquisition by NBC Universal) was much better, not only live video, but also streaming on-demand video so you could watch the race later if you can’t watch it live.
The app is also buggy; if you watch an interview video (for example), after the video is over, the tab at the top still says “Interviews”, but the list of available videos goes back to the recaps screen. To get back to the interviews menu, you have to touch the Highlights or Stages tab at the top, then touch Interviews again to re-load the Interviews menu, then select the next interview you want to watch.
The News menu isn’t updated in a timely manner. Today is Saturday, July 9, Stage 8. The most recent Flashes and Interviews on the News page are from Stage 6. At the very least, I would expect Stage 7 Interviews to be available, and the flashes should be from the current stage, not 2 stages ago.
Two stars (out of 5).
The app isn’t terrible, and being able to watch the stage live while I’m at work has been a godsend, but bring back streaming on-demand, fix the bugs, and allow online ALL-ACCESS users to also have mobile access without paying even more money, and I’ll reconsider.
Update July 12, 2011: Looks like NBC has been listening, at least partially. An updated version was released last night which now allows streaming replays, and hopefully fixed some of the bugs. Still not happy about the separate charge for mobile access, however.