When I first moved to Finland in 1999, the choices for following my favorite sports teams were limited to two options: refreshing my web browser to catch the play-by-play and the occasional televised event.
Living in Finland, this meant getting to see the Super Bowl and, of course, watching every minute of the Stanley Cup finals (see, Finland).
I now live in Germany and technology, not location, has made North American sports more accessible than a decade ago.
North American Sports Network, or NASN, is a channel carried by many European satellite television companies. NASN features a variety of North American sports, including the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL. They even carry some NASCAR for you good ol' boys.
Many pubs carry NASN, but be aware of the time difference. If you want to see your West Coast baseball team play an evening game at a London pub, you will be hard pressed to find a place that will be open for the 4:00 AM start.
Fortunately, many major hotel chains also carry this channel. If you are just coming for a visit, consider staying at a hotel that carries the network and save yourself the frustration of finding an open bar.
SlingMedia's Slingbox is another option to consider. Slingbox is a device that hooks up to your home's television receiving equipment at your home in the United States.
The Slingbox also hooks up to an Internet connection and sends your home's television signals to your computer anywhere in the world.
Some of their higher-end devices even allow you to control your TiVo (DVR), allowing you to watch events at a more convenient time.
The only drawbacks to the Slingbox is that it does require some installation and, in order to view the picture clearly, a relatively fast Internet connection on both ends.
The equipment is not expensive, considering all that it delivers and how important that can be when your team, for example, has Brett Favre starting for them now.
Honestly, I don't have a Slingbox of my own, at least not yet, and my experience is limited to seeing American television streamed to friends' homes.
If you're a cheapskate or have a less-than-spectacular Internet connection, a third option is available called IPTV.
IPTV is relatively simple to set up. It is basically just streaming live television to your computer with the use of appropriate software (Sopcast, TVU Player, etc.).
These programs are free to download and are relatively simple to set up. However, content can sometimes be limited, and the quality of the picture is not very good. I generally only watch IPTV if NASN isn't airing an event.
Good luck with all this. Go Jets!
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