Review: Live And On-Demand Sport Via Eurosport Player

One of the biggest changes to my life since becoming a dad is the lack of control I have over my own TV. That’s right – my own bloody TV. In the past, I used to watch anything and everything I wanted. My weekends often comprised of back-to-back football games – it wasn’t uncommon to watch five live matches on a Saturday and Sunday, as well as catch up on highlights from the others. Oh, how the missus must have hated me.

Children change things though. Since Toddler L was born, I have less time and less opportunity to watch what I want. These days, I’m often glued to CBeebies or Disney Junior for the benefit of Toddler L. This is particularly true since being ‘persuaded’ to downgrade our TV package which meant I lost the sports channels – I’m not bitter at all!

I’m still obviously interested in watching sports – football, tennis, snooker, darts, athletics etc – it’s just difficult to get an opportunity to watch them. It was therefore with much interest that I agreed to review the Eurosport Player. In theory, this would give me access to Eurosport’s channels and the ability to watch live and on-demand stuff via devices that weren’t my commandeered TV.

Below, you’ll find my review and impressions of the Eurosport Player after a few weeks of using it.

Product Description

The product is described as:

Eurosport Player is the home of Eurosport TV online. With a Eurosport Player subscription you have unlimited access to sports content available in the country you are connecting from. You can watch your favourite programmes on Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2 in optimum quality via Smooth Streaming technology on PC/Mac and HLS technology on iOS and Android.With Eurosport Player, you can watch events such as tennis, snooker, and winter sports with bonus live feeds, and even watch up to 3 channels simultaneously using the multiplex function.

Due to rights restrictions, the events broadcasted on the channels and the videos available (replay) may vary from one country to another. Eurosport Player covers nearly 70 countries in Europe (web version) and offers adapted content according to local expectations. In the United Kingdom for example, you will have access to certain events not available in France and vice versa.

Product Experience

I was provided with a code to get access to the Eurosport Player for three months. To activate it, I visited the website (on laptop), found the bit where I stuck in the promo code and entered it. From here, I added some personal info and was given the option of selecting my favourite sports. And with that, I was in and ready to go.

Before diving in, I also decided to download the app on my Android phone – again, it was a simple process of finding the app in the Play Store, installing it and then logging in with the details I’d set up via the laptop. I now had the ability to watch the Eurosport Player from laptop and/or smartphone.

And watch is exactly what I’ve done! In the few weeks I’ve had the app, my sports viewing has increased dramatically. During January, we’ve had the African Cup Of Nations (football), the Australian Open (tennis) and the Masters (snooker). Obviously I’ve not been able to down tools and watch everything – toddlers don’t let you do that – but I’ve been able to duck in and out when I can.

Review Eurosport Player watching tennis on laptop whilst toddler watches TV

I’ve really enjoyed having the Eurosport Player and have found it easy to use. The actual navigation on the player is pretty simple and intuitive – within a few clicks, I’d figured out what the player could offer me. Across the top, you have the main categories of Live TV, TV Schedule and Videos. As Live TV is arguably the key feature (and most detailed), I’ll leave that until last and look at the other two areas first:

TV Schedule

As the name suggests, TV Schedule gives you a list of all programmes that are on the various channels. It’s very similar to any other TV planner – you have the individual channels which run horizontally, the time which runs vertically, then the programmes which are plotted on the lines.

Review Eurosport Player screenshot of TV schedule on laptop with upcoming sports 1

You have a red line which runs vertically to indicate the current time, and thus which sport is currently being played. You also have the ability to click the event to find out further info, change the view to ‘Yesterday’, ‘Today’ and ‘Tomorrow’, view by ‘Week’ or ‘Month’ and search for a programme.

As you’d expect, I’ve found the TV Schedule to be simple to use and good at quickly giving me a snapshot of what’s on now and what’s coming on next. I’ve encountered no issues with it whatsoever, but could see additional functionality added in the future, for instance, the ability to set an alert for upcoming programmes so you don’t miss them.

Videos

The Videos tab allows you to catch up on any programmes you might have missed. When you click the link, you are greeted with a number of video thumbnails, divided by section – so, for instance, ‘Recently Added’, ‘Tennis’, ‘Squash’, ‘Superbike’ etc. From here, you can click through, browse the videos within that section, then watch them.

For instance, during the African Cup Of Nations, I’ve been checking out the ‘Football’ section so that I can catch up on the goals. This is really handy as I know I’ll be able to see all of the action within a few clicks – by comparison, I used to Google or go on YouTube, which often resulted in finding videos that had been removed due to restrictions. With the Player, if the sport is on Eurosport, then I know I’ll be able to find what I want if I’ve missed it the first time around.

Review Eurosport Player screenshot of Videos tab watching catch up football

In addition to watching previous live action, I’ve also discovered exclusive content. These are additional videos – often only a few minutes in length – bringing you things like latest news or ‘best of’ videos. For example, as you can see above, there’s a transfer news video and a top 5 Bundesliga goals video. As I no longer have the time I used to – bloody toddlers (!) – I’ve found these useful for keeping up to date with the latest sporting news.

Live TV

With Live TV, you’re able to watch the different Eurosport channels as they happen. In reality, this means British Eurosport 1 and British Eurosport 2, along with 15 or so other specialist channels like UCI (cycling), BWF (badminton) and FIS (skiing). I’m yet to figure out a full channel listing as this appears to change each day – for instance, I know I’ve seen a snooker channel and squash channel, but that doesn’t show this very minute. I imagine that the channels will appear and disappear as relevant content is available.

To start up the live feed, you just need to click on ‘Live TV’. This launches one of the channels and allows you to watch live sport pretty instantly. After a few seconds, the menu overlay disappears to give you a clear view of the action. From here, you can do a few different things depending on what device you’re on.

Firstly you’re able to see what else is on and change channel via a menu down the right-hand side. There’s also the option of doing things like maximising the screen or switching to a more simplified version of the screen. You can also skip back to other points during the live broadcast – 3 hours previously if I remember rightly. I found this a simple layout to use and everything is pretty self explanatory.

Review Eurosport Player laptop screenshot watching football menu screen

Live TV also features a few things Eurosport dub ‘exclusive features’, which can be accessed along the bottom. This includes ‘Multicam’ where you can watch the same event from multiple camera angles, ‘Highlights’ so you can catch up on anything you’ve missed, and ‘Stats’ where you can get the latest scores and real-time stats. It’s worthwhile saying that not all of these can be accessed on smartphone – for the full experience, laptop is best. In all honesty though, I’ve found some of these to be a little hit or miss. Let me explain…

I’ve watched a lot of feeds from different sports, but have yet been able to see the ‘Multicam’ option. I’m guessing that this is something to do with restrictions – either the sport or location – but either way, it’s been a shame that this is advertised but I’ve not been able to use it.

Similarly, ‘Stats’ has been a bit of a let down. Having worked in football stats myself, I was hoping for a lot of detailed insight but anything I found was basic. For example, the Alpine Skiing World Cup just showed the finish times, the Australian Open was player bio stuff and the option wasn’t even available for the African Cup Of Nations. I think this feature could be massively improved – there’s a growing trend for more information during live sport and this barely touches the tip of the iceberg. If improved, it could be really powerful.

Review Eurosport Player app screenshot watching tennis stats function

‘Highlights’ has been pretty good though. Again, it’s not been available on all sports, but it’s been a useful feature to catch up on the main action. So, even if you miss the start of a sport, you can get a quick view of anything important. For instance, below shows the ability to scroll between and select the different highlights during a match in the Australian Open on my phone.

Review Eurosport Player app screenshot watching tennis highlights function

Something I’ve been genuinely impressed with is the picture quality. Like all streaming services, occasionally things are a little fluffy, but we’re talking like 2% of the time. The other 98%, the picture is crisp, clear and high definition. I don’t know whether it’s proper HD or not, but I certainly couldn’t ask for any more.

Cleverly, the picture quality automatically changes to match things like connection speed, so you always get the best picture available without needing to do anything. It’s also worth noting that I’ve had no issues with the sound quality either.

Review Eurosport Player screenshot of live football on laptop

The final thing to mention is live alerts. I don’t have these setup as I get far too many alerts on my phone as it is, but these give you a little notification when something of importance happens. As such, you can keep up with the action or dip in and out as you wish.

Review Eurosport Player holding smartphone whilst watching tennis

Cost

The Eurosport Player normally costs £59.99 for a 12-month pass, however it’s currently on a special offer of £19.99 (ends 31st Jan 2017). You can also get a day pass (24 hours) which costs £5.99.

Personally, I see very little reason why someone would pay for a day pass when you can get a full year for £15 more at the moment. Even without this special offer though, a penny under 60 quid for a year feels pretty good value and is in line with most other streaming services.

Summary

I’ve been impressed with the Eurosport Player over the last few weeks of using it. In terms of positives, the picture quality is great, it is easy and intuitive to use and it’s been reliable – I’ve had hardly any issues with it freezing etc. It’s also good that you can use it on multiple devices so you can always follow the action. I’ve watched a variety of sports (both live and on-demand videos) on my smartphone and laptop which I wouldn’t have had access to without the subscription. For a fiver a month, it’s a great little app for the sports fan.

I do have a couple of suggestions on how to improve things though. In terms of functionality, it feels quite basic – obviously you don’t want it over complicated, but some of the promoted features are a bit lacking. For example, ‘Stats’ is very basic and I’ve not even been able to find the ‘Multicam’ option despite it being a prominent selling point. This leads on to my second point about restrictions.

Depending on things like your location, you may not get all the sports or all of the features when compared to other countries. For example, you’re not going to be able to watch Premier League football and might have to settle for something a little more obscure like Badminton. Not a lot can really be done about that, but it might mean you don’t get everything you think you’re going to get, e.g. ‘Multicam’.

Overall though, my impressions of the Eurosport Player are overwhelmingly positive. I’m able to access and watch a range of sporting content on my devices within a few seconds. This has ranged from sports I’m interested in such as football, tennis and snooker, to ones I’m not so bothered about such as rugby, skiing and squash.

I’d have no qualms in recommending it as a service. Interestingly, Eurosport are spending so much money on acquiring the rights for different sports – e.g. Wimbledon and the Olympics – that I can only see the Player getting better and better for us sports fans.

The DADventurer Star Rating

4.5 out of 5 stars

N.B. This is a collaborative post written with Eurosport. This review was written by me (Dave) and represents my honest opinion of the product. I was given a 3-month subscription to the Eurosport Player with the purpose of writing an honest product review in exchange.


  • john adams

    I have heard of the Eurosport Play and am keen to give it a go myself. Very thorough review. Thanks Dave, I’m going to check it out in detail. Seems reasonably priced too.

    • Cheers mate – yeah the price (particularly the current 20 quid) is pretty reasonable I think

  • This looks fantastic, and really reasonably priced. Thankfully my son will watch any sport going and we’ve just introduced him to darts, but my daughter really doesn’t like to watch sport, so this would be great.

    • Yeah I’ve been impressed with it. Haha – I used to be like your son as a kid and would happily watch any sport, whether I understood it or not!

  • Cracking price if you catch the early bird price and not too costly after to be honest. I always find Eurosport is great for Tennis and good for some of the Snooker tournaments as well as Athletics too. Looks like the app is pretty easy to use and I love the fact it adjusts to the best picture dependant on your signal / wifi. Great review and am off to sign up for the super cheap intro price now

    • Yeah agreed. At the full price, it’s a fiver a month which is the same as other subscription services like DisneyLife and cheaper than the likes of Netflix. I know they’re different, but it’s priced how I’d expect it – that’s why the 20 quid year pass seems to be really good value. Yeah, the changing picture thing is clever – you don’t notice it happening, just that you always have a good image.

  • Helen Yeah

    Could you watch whole matches (cup of nations) on demand or just highlights?

    I’m losing eurosport from my sky subscription. Loathe to pay for a year when I only want less than a fortnight. I notice they don’t do the monthly pass currently….

    • Hi Helen – so yeah, you can watch the entire match on on-demand. When you find the video, it’s like 2.5 hours long so covers the entire match – you can then skip to the relevant bits.

      Yeh, I think the only option is daily at £5.99 or annual for £59.99. As I mention, the year is currently £19.99 (ends today) so is pretty good value (in my view).

      • Helen Yeah

        Cheers. I guess they’ve changed their pricing structure then. Annoying. I only want AFCON! and obvious fear of jinxing my team if I subscribe. hah.

  • Ronan Fox

    Biggest issue v TV is inability to record and often infuriating lack of, or delays with, on demand videos. It can be several hours before you can catch up, if at all.

    • Yeah true – obviously no recording capability as the fact it’s on demand means you already have it ‘recorded’. I can’t really comment on when the on demand video is uploaded – I always caught up a day or a few days later, so I’m not sure how quick it is at being available I’m afraid!

      • Ronan Fox

        I mainly watch cycling. My ideal would be to be able to watch that days stage of say the Tour De France, when I get home from work, a good two to three hours after the race has finished. That usually isn’t possible unlike if I was simply recording from the TV. I’m not sure if that’s because they still have highlights programmes scheduled for later in the evening, a rights issue or simply bad service. Either way, it’s frustrating.

        • Yeah that makes total sense, I get what you mean. Just had a quick look for you and can’t see any on demand videos at the moment, but the Great Ocean Road Race is currently live. I wonder how long it’ll be before that is on demand after the race finishes…

        • Helen Yeah

          Oh so they don’t put them up pronto? I want to go out tomorrow but I also want to see the semi final before the next semi final is on the following day…

          • I don’t know how quickly they go up I’m afraid. Looking at it now, I can watch the full Egypt v Morocco and DR Congo v Ghana games from Sunday. Not sure how long they’ve been up though.

          • Helen Yeah

            Thanks for looking. Not a good time for finding out really as we’re on the couple of days between matches.

          • No worries – yeah exactly – could have given you a better answer if it was yesterday, but we’re in that ‘weird’ gap phase 🙂

  • What a great idea – Dave rarely gets to watch (or play) what he wants on our TV now and spends most of his free time watching things on his tablet so I guess this would be ideal for him.
    Thanks for sharing your review on #TriedTested this week x

  • Kate Fever

    What a fantastic idea. My husband loves sport, but doesn’t often get time to watch it, or the chance to get near the TV – there are usually a gaggle of kids there first! He would love this I think. Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested

  • Tom Macmillan

    does it work with chromecast?

    • Vlad Kuzba

      Yes, it does, but the picture quality is horrendous. Not worth the money.

    • It didn’t when I reviewed it back in Jan, but I checked the other day and there was the option to cast.

  • Vlad Kuzba

    Eurosport player? Never more. I watch Eurosport HD on satellite TV. But I hate the frequent ads. It’s a paid channel and yet it still bothers with ads. So i decided I would try Eurosport player and I believed to:
    1) get the whole race – especially Giro
    2) get rid of the apps
    3) get a very good picture and sound quality.

    Reality?
    1) The coverage is the same as on TV. WTF? The program guide claimed the coverage would start at 12:25. It started at 13:15, the same time as on TV.
    2) There are ads as well. WTF? For me, paid service means no ads. Every 5 to 10 minutes. No way.
    3) Can’t change the sound track – only Czech here. I want English! Picture “quality”? You get 720p only or worse. Some videos are vailable in 480p only. Do the people in Eurosport know that this is 2017? Where is full HD?

    Yes, I admit there IS a stream dedicated to Giro, with no ads. BUT no commentary, plus the stream starts with the main channel coverage, so you don’t get the whole race.
    So with this experience I cancelled my subscription immediately.

  • Vlad Kuzba

    OK, my post has been deleted? Well, it’s your website, but it doesn’t change a thing on my experience. I’ve read read your review, I thought it could be worth paying for Eurosport again in spite of the fact I already pay Eurosport with my satellite subscription. I hoped I would get a better experience with web streaming, but I was wrong. Very wrong.

    – Horrible picture quality with 720p max. Most of the materials are in 420p or even worse. Good for a mobile phone, not for TV.
    – Only one sound track, so if you happen to watch it in Czech republic, you have to listen to Czech commentary.
    – Doesn’t cover all race – starts with TV broadcast, in case of Giro, this is unacceptable.
    – You pay extra money and yet, you get adverts!!! every ten minutes or so (just same as with TV broadcast).
    – One stream dedicated to Giro, with NO COMMENTARY.
    – If you want to watch two streams of the same event on one screen, well it’s possible, but you should know that that the streams are not synchronized – the time difference while watching Giro was up to 2 minutes.

    If you get all these for free for 3 months, it may be good enough but should you pay for this? NO WAY. Well, unless you’re OK with the drawbacks.

    • Your post hasn’t been deleted – scroll down and you’ll see it at the bottom. I’m sorry you’ve had a bad experience with Eurosport and feel my review misled you. I wrote the review based on my honest opinion, as I do with everything. I used the player plenty of times and what I wrote above is my experience. I’m UK based so what I experienced was based on that – if you’re talking about Czech Republic, I’m not going to have heard Czech commentary etc. Similarly, Giro wasn’t on when I reviewed it, so I didn’t experience the fact it doesn’t cover all races and no commentary etc. I found the player pretty good for the football, tennis and snooker I watched, so stand by what I said above.

      • Vlad Kuzba

        Sorry, I didn’t expect it to be at the bottom, thought the posts are in chronological order. Maybe Eurosport has different policies in different countries. But tell me, are there “adverts” in the UK version as well? I say “adverts” because often they are just silly self-promotions notoriously repeated over and over. I really have no interest in watching 10 near misses of Ronie O’Sullivan 4 or 5 times an hour. (Otherwise I’m a big fan of snooker).

  • Jordan Mansfield

    My gfs Dad loves the cycling on Eurosport but he’s stuck in a BT TV contract that he doesn’t really want. I recommended using the eurosport player but I wanted to check that you could catch up on the cycling like ASAP after its been live and how long the previous races stay on demand.

    Any help with this would be great as the player seems to be much cheaper than paying for BT TV.