SBD/February 4, 2014/Media

App Review: Fox Sports Go's "Minimalist" Functionality Effective During Super Bowl

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Fox Sports Go currently focusing on content, but expanded features are in the works
During Super Bowl Sunday and the week prior, I reviewed Fox Sports’ TV Everywhere mobile app, Fox Sports Go. "Minimalist approach" is the phrase I would use to describe this experience, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Fox Sports Go was developed in-house with the support of several vendors. I conducted the review on an iPad 2 version 7.0.4 with Xfinity cable service. Fox Sports Go offers a clean, easy-to-view, mobile version of Fox TV channels for the iPad. With Xfinity, I was able to log in with my cable subscription credentials and view Fox and FS1 all week. For a 27-hour period beginning at midnight on Sunday, the app was available authentication-free and also included Fox Deportes and FS2. Prior to the Super Bowl stream, there were no commercials within the app. The game stream did have commercials -- both on Fox Sports and Fox Deportes, but these were not the same as live TV.

KEEPING IT SIMPLE
: The app’s layout is basic yet effective. A channel menu lives on the left side of the screen and programming is listed by time. Content offerings can be viewed for all channels or individual channels, and listings are available for up to three days of programming. Live shows are denoted with orange play icons. During the Super Bowl, the app featured the same layout. There were no issues with functionality, and all channels rendered well on my device.

ROOM FOR GROWTH
: According to Fox, the present version of the mobile app is focused on content. Phase two will center around features. That said, I was surprised to see so little advertising, especially during the Super Bowl. I would have expected some sort of integrated ad feature. In addition, there are neither sharing tools nor any social media presence within the app. With Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers headlining the halftime show, an integrated Twitter feed would have generated a lot of buzz for Fox Sports Go.

BOTTOM LINE
: As far as TV Everywhere goes, this app offers a very straightforward, functional product. The viewing experience is simple and enjoyable, lacking stumbling blocks for viewers. While some might argue that basic is best, the app definitely has room for improvement. A more searchable programming menu along with user customization and social sharing tools are just a few of the items on my list of hopefuls for phase two.

Amie Sheridan (
amie.sheridan31@gmail.com) is a freelance writer in Philadelphia.

See Sheridan's previous App Review submissions for THE DAILY:
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Media, Fox, Super Bowl

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