Future of Sunday Ticket remains very fluid

NFL: JAN 29 Super Bowl LIII Experience
Getty Images

The NFL’s deal with DirecTV to broadcast the Sunday Ticket package expires after the 2022 season. At this point, the only semi-certainty is that the long-time relationship with DirecTV will end. Where the product goes continues to be an open question.

It started as a satellite service. It will become, as of 2023, a full-blown streaming service. Which means that one of the obvious streaming companies with the infrastructure to do it right will end up getting the contract.

Recent reports have suggested that the winning bidder could pay as much as $7.5 billion per year, three times the current DirecTV rate. We’ve been unable to nail down that number. It’s quite possible that, in the end, the league will have to choose between maximizing revenue and maximizing audience reach.

It’s also unclear whether the package will continue to consist of one option — buy it all, or buy none of it. There has been talk of a more flexible approach, with consumers able to buy packages tailored to a specific team or a specific weekend.

However it’s structured, it will be a streaming service, first and foremost. Although it seemed possible that the NFL would retain DirecTV as the satellite provider and sell the streaming rights to a tech company, it now appears (per a source with knowledge of the dynamics) that the league will sell the whole package to a tech company, which then may break off satellite rights to be sold only to consumers (typically, very rural) who lack access to the kind of Internet service needed for reliable streaming. That could be DirecTV, it could be Dish Network, it could be both, and it could be neither.

Regardless, Sunday Ticket will, as of 2023, fully enter the new reality of streaming-based TV consumption. And the NFL will make more and more money in the process.

Which is good, because the owners and the players share the revenue. So even if it allows the oligarchs to buy bigger superyachts, it also means more players will get more money for the risks they take and the sacrifices they make.

21 responses to “Future of Sunday Ticket remains very fluid

  1. Please someone else!!! I am sick of giving ATT so much of my hard-earned dollars to watch my team!!

  2. It’s not fair, but I’ll pay for my team’s package. They’re not in my market, but neither is anyone else, really. I know that there are other ways around this, but they’re as frustrating as big market prime time matchups or flavor of the month teams that get “game of the week” treatment. I think every NFC West team got at least one.

    I’ll complain, but other people will happily open their wallets. My friend who has been a Bills fan since the Jim Kelly era (remember: we are nobody’s market) would be first in line.

    Let us watch our teams. There are four other slots every week and they force feed us garbage on Thursday night so it’s only fair.

  3. I paid for St w superfan package every season I had Direct TV. once DTV went downhill and there were better options, I dropped it, and as such dropped ST.

    if buying ST standalone was an option, I’d shell our for it. so would everyone else.

  4. I stayed with DirecTV since 1994 primarily for Sunday Ticket and if they no longer offer it, I will likely go 100 % streaming. The equipment fees for their stone age DVR’s are ridiculous nut I was willing to put up with it to get my football fix.
    They have to know that losing Sunday Ticket will hurt their residential and commercial business.

  5. 20 percent of the population who doesn’t have good enough internet service to stream may not be enough to prevent the greed of the NFL from going to stream only but, please don’t think this we’ll forgive and forget.

  6. The one thing these Leagues get wrong is giving 1 service the entire package. I am not changing my service for 1 thing. None of these services give you everything you want for a good price anyway. Spectrum and DirecTv has the regional sports networks but have other shortcomings. YouTube TV is a really good service but doesn’t have the Regional Sports Networks. The MAJOR thing MLB and NBA get wrong is even if you pay for NBA Season Pass or the MLB Package which I get with my TMobile cell subscription as my favorite MLB team is the Dodgers, is they still black out the local teams. Now I have no interest in watching the Scrub Guardians, I would get the NBA Package to watch the Cavs. Some company should be smart enough to exploit this gap and MLB and NBA should figure out this major shortcoming.

  7. If they split the streaming component off, Netflix should move heaven and earth to get their hands on it. It would be a good investment for them since their business model is tenuous to say the least with so many studios establishing streaming services and pulling content from them.

  8. Ditto Titan…Why flip around to 9 other games when someone else is doing it for you. Scott Hanson has the best job in broadcasting..

  9. At $7b/ season, the price to subscribe AND the volume of commercials and advertising are going to go through the roof. Gee, that sounds like a swell value proposition for consumers.

  10. There is a possibility that 50 percent of DirecTV customers are due to the NFL Sunday Ticket. In the past four years, I have canceled my direct services after the regular season ends, switched to online streaming service, and added DirecTV back in August. Their service is average at best. Satellite loses signal during strong storms, and neither they or Comcast have upgrade their DVR. good riddance.

  11. Why not just use NFL GAME PASS like they do outside the USA and let users stream live? Wouldn’t that bring in similar revenue at around $250 a season for example?

  12. I live in the Northeast and all the local channels show are the bills, Jets, patriots, and Giants, I would gladly pay just to see my team only, they have to give fans that option, it’s ridiculous what they charge when you can only watch one game at a time

  13. Whereever it ends up, as long as we will FINALLY get the chance to purchase individual games or individual teams’ seasons, that’s all that counts!

  14. If the NFL would for a MOMENT just think about keeping fans happy, instead of milking every single dollar from them, they would stop sunday ticket entirely and offer gamepass that shows every game like it does in some countries. Just let us watch the football we want to watch. Charge for it but stop trying to clean us out. Let the ticket go to cable companies with a limited charge they can have and split it with them. Everyone can watch, and it shouldn’t be over $99 a year. THEN football fans will increase and be happy.

  15. There is a 0.0 chance direct tv keeps it. ATT has already figured out a way to bankrupt the s&^t asset after they lose ST.

    Amazon and/or Diseny+.

    Burt if you can’t see your team play, its because of the NFL, they are the ones screwing you.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.