Dish would bid on NFL Sunday Ticket, if it could


If DirecTV can’t work out a deal to extend it’s 20-year hammerlock on NFL Sunday Ticket, another satellite provider is ready to make a pitch for the package.

According to Todd Spangler of, Dish Network chairman Charlie Ergen recently said that his company would make an offer on the property, if it could.

Specifically, Ergen said Dish Network would “obviously be a bidder” for what he called “the most valuable content in the world.”  But with the acquisition of DirecTV by AT&T hinging on the retention of Sunday Ticket, Ergen realizes that the door won’t be open.

“I think DirecTV, given the fact their merger [with AT&T] depends on it, the NFL has] to be confident they’re in the driver’s seat,” Ergen said.

That wrinkle gives the league so much power in the talks that the league doesn’t even need to conjure phony leverage by, for example, flirting with a competitor like Dish.

Still, if the package ever jumped from DirecTV to another provider, plenty of DirecTV customers would surely follow.

42 responses to “Dish would bid on NFL Sunday Ticket, if it could

  1. Yep. I am only with DirecTV because of Sunday Ticket. I’d follow the ticket wherever it went.

  2. Why cant the NFL make the package available across more providers? I remember a few years back, MLB almost went exclusive with DirecTV, and people went crazy. And MLB backed off of it. Why isn’t there at least even an internet only option for Sunday Ticket, the way there is for the MLB, NHL, and NBA packages?

  3. I have had Dish for 7 years. I love it. Not swiitching for Sunday Ticket. I can see every Saints game, so why would I shell out all the extra money to watch other teams play? The big games are usually scheduled for nighttime national broadcast.

    Besides, maybe people don’t realize it, but there are other ways to see the games of teams you don’t follow.

  4. Considering the NFL has a deal with Verizon, would there potentially be a conflict of interest if it chose to renew its Sunday Ticket offer with DirecTV, since DirecTV is now owned by AT&T?

  5. If the NFL was really looking to make some additional cash, they would sell a package to cable providers to offer a week by week package where each game is pay-per-view when it is out of market, and charge $19.99 per game each week. There would be a lot of people who would rather pay 20 bucks to watch their team at home instead of shelling out $40-50 in food and drinks at a bar or restaurant, and it would not directly conflict with the Sunday Ticket value proposition. Besides, DirecTV makes most of its money on the restaurant/bar segment anyway.
    Selling one game doesn’t necessarily impact the potential of having all of them. The home consumer group would vacate a lot of DirecTV packages, but the NFL really doesn’t care about DirecTV, they care about that TV revenue. Besides, with the cost jumping every year on Sunday Ticket, many consumers are jumping off the bandwagon already.

  6. Why doesn’t the NFL double or triple dip and make the Sunday Ticket something anyone can purchase? The more carriers and subscribers who purchase this would result in even more revenue into the NFL’s coffers.

    I can understand the initial exclusivity, but just like with “exclusive” cell phones after they’ve been out for awhile they go over to other carriers as well.

    I’m tired of the overuse of “exclusive”, like how every time a new phone comes out AT&T has the “exclusive” rights on it so no one else can buy that phone even if they want to.

  7. As a directv subscriber, I can honestly say I would jump to Dish in a New York second if they got the package. It is literally the ONLY reason I maintain my directv account. Otherwise, they’re pretty horrible.

  8. The “wired” TV providers (Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, Cablevision, etc.) would also probably get together to package a bid… they’ve wanted access to Ticket since the beginning. Cable viewers are limited to RedZone – nice for current highlights, but obviously bad for fans of out-of-market teams who can’t see a full game.

  9. I’m sure DirecTV would lose a lot of viewers if it lost the NFL package. My wife likes Comcast and doesn’t want a satellite dish on our roof. But if we didn’t live in my favorite NFL team’s broadcast area, we would get DirecTV and Sunday Ticket, and she would just have to be p.o.’d at me.

  10. Well they had multiple chances to merge with DirecTV, but Ergen thought the price was too “frothy” which comes from the root word “froth” which means “something that is appealing but that has no serious value or interest”, or “worthless or insubstantial talk, ideas, or activities”, or other definitions that talk about “bubbles”, so I’m not sure why he’s trying to talk about opening a door that he chose to shut and board up.

    And maybe Ergen should watch less TV and spend some time working on building a better vocabulary.

  11. People still use satellite and cable table? You do realize how royally screwed you’re all getting right? It’s the same thing with internet from the big companies like Comcast, who give you terrible speeds for outrageously high prices.

    Bring down the corporations!

  12. I just moved and tried to take my sunday ticket with me. Our new house is surrounded by trees and cant get reception so I had to cancel. Now I’ll be forced to watch my Bolts online illegally and im gonna buy NFL replay to help. Im gonna miss sunday ticket it is awesome. Luckily I have at&t so if they bring it to mobile ill get it.

  13. There would be so many more NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers if they would open up access beyond Direct TV!

  14. I Hate DirecTV but love the ticket, I was with Dish for 8 years and was always happy with it. Switched to DirecTV 2 years ago for the ticket and have had nothing but problems with them and the crappy equipment. I hope the NFL sticks it to them it is BS that they are the only supplier of Sunday Ticket.

  15. I wonder how much the NFL charges Directv for exclusivity. The bad news is that if the NFL tries to squeeze Directv/ATT on their next deal Directv will pass that cost along to their customers! It is like those naive people who demand that businesses and corporations pay higher taxes and then when higher taxes come they complain that the prices for goods and services continue to rise!

  16. Anyone that knows Ergen knows he’s not going to ante up enough for the NFL content…but, what he does like to do is bid it up for his competitors.

    His statement alone just added a zero.

  17. I’m with everyone else on this thread. I’m with Directv only because of the Sunday Ticket. Directv’s prices in general are nothing short of blatant gouging and their customer service is horrible. I’d be thrilled if they were to lose the NFL package. If Directv loses Sunday Ticket, they lose me too.

  18. I’m just waiting for Google to put in a bid and then offer it as a pay per team OR pay per division service.

    I’d gladly pay $100 to watch all the NFC South games…


  19. I got rid of my Direct TV/Sunday Ticket after just 2 years due to the endless “extra charges” and extremely poor customer service…..never going back regardless whether the retain their illegal choke hold on the Ticket….

  20. so what are people supposed to do who can’t have satellite dishes?

    i don’t get why they feel the need for an exclusive contract when they are effectively cutting their market in half, maybe even further my restricting access to 1 cable company who isn’t even the largest provider (or even close)

  21. I have never understood this fetish with DirecTV by the NFL. I agree fully with those that have stated basically that this is well beyond a new thing when you might have understood a contract with one provider. But when they renewed with DirecTV was when they should have offered this ticket to all satellite and cable companies.

    I once had DirecTV a long time ago and admittedly it was the Sunday Ticket that had me make the change. However, my experience with DirecTV and my dealings with them, especially when I had trouble, was horrendous. Sunday Ticket or no Sunday Ticket I left them anyway and since that time have waited for this feature to become available on my cable service.

    I also like the idea of “pay as you go” so to speak as someone has mentioned. The NFL could make all the games available on an individual basis like a “pay per view” event. Or like a movie. I do think $19.95 is a bit steep as someone like me would choose a game to watch at 1:00, 4:00, and not to mention the night game. I think something in the range of $5 – $10/game would be more like it.

  22. DirecTV users like me have been screwed for years as Sunday Ticket is the only option. So we’ve paid whatever they’ve asked us (and we threatened to cancel several times which did get us better pricing).

    But now that DTV is being bought by AT&T we can expect the price to skyrocket to the highest possible cost.

    How else will AT&T, the greedy corporation, ever pay back the $50 billion purchase price?!

    Someday in the future there will be 10 monster corporations controlling everything. The only “good news” is the NFL won’t be one of them.

  23. I don’t get it. As a kid in school I was taught monopolies were broken up and illegal, because they could abuse their power over American Citizens. All I see today are Monopolies under a bunch of different teams. AT&T a number of years ago filed Bankruptcy and now they are one of the most powerful Corporations in the World.

  24. Please get non satellite companies involved, the quality would be so much better…especially for the online version which DirecTV does a terrible job with.

  25. I have Directv and I would gladly take the NFL Network’s Red Zone channel over Directv’s Red Zone channel, but unfortunately it’s not an option. Directv’s Red Zone channel SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s more of a highlight show than watching live football. So I’m getting Sunday Ticket but refuse to pay an additional $90 to get their incredibly lame Red Zone channel.

  26. This is no different then the iPhone … Why would the money hungry nfl not want to sell there product to every company ..just look at what Apple did …sold it to Att exclusive until it was in high demand

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