I’ve long been critical of the NFL and Roger Goodell for calling themselves “fan friendly” and then not really being “fan friendly” at all. One of my major bones of contention has always been the monopoly that DirecTV has on the NFL Sunday Ticket, as it affords them the opportunity to charge whatever the hell they want for it, and people will still buy. Frankly, the NFL Sunday Ticket is probably the only thing keeping DirecTV in business.
MLB, the NBA and the NHL all offer their version of the NFL Sunday Ticket on all the major cable and satellite providers. Hell, I’m a Phillies fan, live out of market, and I was able to buy the MLB package for something like $179. That’s 162 Phillies games, plus if I want, I can see every other MLB game I want as well. For me, that’s $1.10 per Phillies game. It’s worth it to me, and the MLB as well as my cable provider make a few extra bucks. Everybody wins. What a novel idea!
So why does the NFL have an exclusive contract with DirecTV, instead of making it available to all cable and satellite providers? Well, in case you didn’t follow the lockout (and I’m jealous of all of you who didn’t), the NFL has a $4 billion deal with DirecTV, which gives them the exclusive rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket. It also means that because they had to pony up such a ridiculous dollar amount to the NFL, DirecTV really has no choice but to charge absurd prices for the service.
The NFL Sunday Ticket was previously only available to DirecTV subcribers, but today news broke that you can purchase the NFL Sunday Ticket from DirecTV without being a subscriber, through a PlayStation3 console. WooooHooooooooo!!! Honnneeeeyyyyy, drop what you’re doing this second – We’re off to Best Buy to buy a PS3!
Oh wait, what’s the cost? Oh… It’s $340 for the Sunday Ticket? And $249 for the PS3? Bummer. “Fan friendly,” my ass.