NFL Sunday Ticket was responsible for airing NFL regular season games, which were showcases by both Fox and CBS, to people who could otherwise not view the games due to where they reside, through a subscription package. Therefore, meaning the games that weren’t being shown on the local channels. It was launched in 1994 and closed in 2019 by the National Football League. It was generally for the American citizens who love to watch football but are at a disadvantaged point due to their current location that aren’t part of a particular team’s market. Presumably, based on one’s advertisements, he or she was considered an ideal customer of the Sunday ticket.
AT&T Inc., through DirecTV, was responsible for distributing this subscription package in the United States. One could also access the Sunday games on the internet through their tablets and smartphones, provided their device was compatible with DirecTV. NFL Sunday Ticket wasn’t restricted to only the United States but also Canada, Latin America, South America, the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Bermuda. All through various cable providers.
In the United States, DirecTV was the satellite provider that had patented rights to this subscription Package until the 2022 NFL season. DirecTV renewed their contract in 2014, and it was agreed that they would pay the NFL network 1.5 billion dollars annually for the next eight years. By extending this contract, many cable providers were deterred from bidding on the rights to publish the NFL Sunday Ticket even though they were allowed to. AT&T also pushed for the renewal of the contract as part of their deal with DirecTV once they bought the latter in 2015.
This package, as from 2015, was only available to those who weren’t able to access the services from DirecTV, and the only way they could do that was through online subscribing. The act of offering NFL Sunday Ticket to the cable providers led CBS and FOX to lost a lot of money as its viewers weren’t included in the Nielsen ratings. The money was lost because they could not air national ads aired during commercial breaks, which usually contributed a lot of revenue. Although it is important to note that the local affiliate did lend a helping hand by subsidizing the costs of programming and DirecTV played a role by offering a preview for free in the initial week of the season.
Following the loss of money by the CBS and Fox affiliates, viewers were forced to watch the NFL games through their local broadcast stations as the games were blacked out on the NFL Sunday Ticket depending on the zip code of the viewers’ locations. Regardless of whether or not the games were happening, the feed of the NFL Sunday Ticket was blacked out. This blackout extended till the end of the 2014 season.
A blackout was a result of the game not being able to be sold out by a particular home market, and it affected the ability of NFL Sunday ticket to air the game in that same home market. As mentioned earlier, this happened only in the 2014 season as the national football league was able to uplift the blackout policy in the next season that was in 2015.
There are five extra features offered in this subscription package through DirecTV. Before the NFL Sunday Ticket Max package, which was introduced in 2012, the extra features were included in an additional package called Superfan, which was cost an extra $100. However, of 2012 some of the extra features were included in the package as mentioned earlier and were also required to pay an extra $100. It is important to note that HD versions of the games were only allowed for those who subscribed to the superfan package, although this changed from 2009, and everyone viewed the games in HD regardless of whether or not they subscribed to the additional packages.
These extra features are a game mix, red zone channel, shortcuts, highlights on-demand, and the fantasy football TV app located on the NFL’s website.
• This feature was able to show the time left, the score, and the quarter of a maximum of eight games all at the same time on the HD feed.
• Additionally, if less than five games are being played at that time, the size of the cells was increased to become larger.
Highlights on demand
• Through the channel 1005 DirecTV subscribers with DVRs that are interactive can catch the gist of games on demand, and it runs for three to four minutes. However, this all changed in the year 2012 as it was only restricted to viewers who subscribed to the NFL Sunday Ticket Max package.
Fantasy football TV app
• This app was introduced in 2011, and anyone who had this app was able to view the scores of their fantasy football teams, which consists of players of different teams to form one team. The scores were shown on their TV screens provided they have an internet connection.
• This feature recaps previous AFC and NFC games within a span of 30 minutes or even less. The recaps were only made available from Sunday night to Tuesday morning. It doesn’t matter whether or not the games were aired in NFL Sunday Ticket either due to a blackout or the particular game was aired on the local channel.
• It is only restricted to the NFL Sunday Ticket Max package subscribers.
Red Zone channel
• This extra feature is a channel that is also referred to as the remote control as it was able to switch to different games that the viewers showed interest in. It is available under the Max package and also some airlines.
Can I get NFL Sunday Ticket without DirecTV?
It is very much possible to watch the NFL Sunday ticket, but one has to meet certain conditions to be able to access the NFL Sunday Ticket without a DirecTV subscription. First and foremost, one needs to reside in an apartment that doesn’t have DirecTV. One can also get this if they attend one of the universities mentioned in the NFL Sunday ticket website. The universities include Harvard, University of Washington, Ohio state university, university of Alabama, etc. additionally, you have to live either in New York City, San Francisco, or Philadelphia.
The first way of getting the NFL Sunday Ticket without DirecTV is through the NFLSundayticket.TV, which costs around $99 monthly. The good thing about this package is that college students are offered this subscription at a discounted price. The only catch is that it has to be through online streaming. The second way is through Amazon Prime by downloading the Sunday Ticket Channel. It is worth noting that without a DirecTV subscription, one is not restricted to some devices hence an advantage.
Where to watch Sunday ticket?
There are various places you could watch the Sunday ticket and this include on TV. To be more specific on channels between 701 and 719. You could also stream it on any device such as a computer or smartphone provided it is compatible with DirecTV. However, you need to first sign in with your AT&T password and ID.
What about NFL playoffs?
Sunday ticket, unfortunately, doesn’t cover the NFL playoffs as it is only restricted to regular Sunday afternoon games, which can’t be aired on local channels. The good thing is that there are always alternative online streaming services that allow you to watch the playoffs.