AT&T has increased the price of DIRECTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket basic plan by 16.7 percent since it assumed control of the satcaster in 2015 following a merger.
The telco has raised the price of the basic plan from $251.94 at the end of 2015 season to $293.94 for the upcoming 2018 campaign. That’s a $42 increase.
The nation’s inflation rate has risen by only 4.9 percent during that time while the Sunday Ticket price has jumped nearly 17 percent.
In addition, AT&T has raised the price of the ‘Max’ edition of the Sunday Ticket by 11.9 percent since the end of the 2015 season. The Max price has jumped from $353.94 to $395.94 for the 2018 season, which is also a $42 increase over the three years.
(The basic Sunday Ticket plan entitles a subscriber to watch out-of-market Sunday NFL games as well as access the Ticket Mix Channel and on-screen stats. The Max plan includes the live regular season games as well as the Red Zone Channel.)
AT&T has increased the price of the popular NFL package each season since 2016, the first year it had control over the pricing structure.
The FCC approved AT&T’s merger with DIRECTV in July 2015, which was after the price for the 2015 season was announced. So the 2016 season was AT&T’s first to dictate Sunday Ticket prices.
The price hikes have upset many existing DIRECTV subscribers who are particularly irked that AT&T has offered the football package as a free bonus to new customers when they sign up.
“I’ve had Sunday Ticket since it started and…it’s getting more and more expensive while new subscribers get huge discounts. As a long time customer I have yet to see anything as a thank you for just being loyal,” @TBrandon84 wrote on Twitter yesterday.
DIRECTV, which has held the exclusive rights to the Ticket since its launch in 1994, reportedly paid $1.5 billion a year for eight years in the current contract which started with the 2015 season.
This year’s price increase comes although DIRECTV reportedly received numerous requests for Sunday Ticket refunds in 2017 due to the player protests during the National Anthem. AT&T this year raised the price of the basic and Max plans by 4.2 percent and 4.7 percent respectively.
— Phillip Swann