Q. Is there any way to get the NFL Sunday Ticket without getting a dish from DIRECTV? Please tell me yes. — Tom, Deale, Maryland.
Tom, the answer is yes — if you live in the right place.
The satcaster offers a separate streaming edition of the popular package of ‘out-of-market’ NFL games for $293.96. (That’s the same price if you ordered it from DIRECTV using a satellite dish.)
The basic online plan gives you everything the basic satellite Sunday Ticket does — every Sunday afternoon game (minus ones played overseas), real-time stats and Short Cuts (next day game replays in 30 minutes). (The Red Zone Channel will require the Max Sunday Ticket plan, which costs $395.99.)
You can watch the streaming version of the Ticket on tablets, computers, laptops and connected devices such as Smart TVs, Fire TV boxes and sticks, and Roku.
So, what’s the catch?
DIRECTV says NFLSundayTicket.TV, the streaming-only version, is only available to non-DIRECTV customers who live in select multi-dwelling unit buildings (apartments, condos, etc.) where DIRECTV service is not available, or live in a residence that has been verified as unable to receive the traditional DIRECTV satellite service with a dish.
How do you verify you are eligible? You go to this site and type in your address.
And that’s where it gets interesting.
I inserted my old address from Santa Monica, California, a condominium complex, and the site said I was eligible for the non-subscriber version of the Ticket. However, I used to have a DIRECTV dish on the roof of my unit in the beach town.
I then punched in several random addresses of other condo buildings across the United States and found they are eligible.
I then inserted my current address in Maryland — a house in Owings, Maryland — and the site said I was not eligible for the online service.
So it would appear that although many, if not most, apartment and condo buildings permit dish installation, DIRECTV is assuming you can’t get satellite if you live in a multi-dwelling unit.
Ergo, feel free to sign up for DIRECTV’s Sunday Ticket without subscribing to its satellite plan.
If you are a college student, you can also get the streaming edition of the Sunday Ticket without a dish or satellite package. In fact, the price is discounted to $99.96.
Last note: There have been rumors that DIRECTV Now, AT&T’s live streaming service, will add the Sunday Ticket, which would also negate the need for a dish and set-top. (But you would still need a DIRECTV programming package.) But thus far, AT&T has said it does not plan to make Sunday Ticket part of the DIRECTV Now lineup.
Update: Directv Now is now offering the Sunday Ticket in a handful of markets.
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— Phillip Swann