Q. I am a DIRECTV subscriber and I want the Red Zone channel! But I don’t see it offered anywhere. I know some cable guys have it, but why not DIRECTV?! Please explain! — Tony, Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Tony, DIRECTV does have the Red Zone channel, but there’s a catch.
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The Red Zone channel is only available to subscribers to DIRECTV’s ‘Max’ edition of the NFL Sunday Ticket. It is not available via the basic Sunday Ticket plan, or through a separate subscription to the Red Zone channel alone.
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(You are right, Tony. Some pay TV services will sell you the Red Zone channel as a separate standalone channel. Also, for readers unfamiliar with the Red Zone channel, it offers live views of games when one team is inside its opponent’s 20-yard-line. )
Every year, many DIRECTV subscribers become irate when they learn they can only watch the Red Zone channel with a Max Ticket subscription. The Basic Ticket plan costs $293.94 while the Max price is $395.94. To get the Red Zone channel, football fans have to shell out an extra $100.
But there’s a reason for DIRECTV’s decision. The satcaster has agreed to pay roughly $1.5 billion to the NFL over eight years for the exclusive rights to Sunday Ticket package. By placing the popular Red Zone channel in Max, DIRECTV is assured that more people will subscribe to the more expensive package, and therefore will generate more revenue to offset its investment.
As usual, Tony, it’s all about the Benjamins. But at least the Red Zone channel is available on DIRECTV, albeit for a price.
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To clarify Phil, there are two Redzone Channels, one that is produced by NFL Network and the other produced by Directv. While yes, to get Directv Redzone you need to get the Ticket package, but if the viewer were to get Cable and Verizon as well as Sling and other streamers, the viewer can get NFL Redzone, which is essentially the same.
Technically, you can get the Red Zone channel through DirecTV WITHOUT signing up for NFL Sunday Ticket Max. How, you might ask? As long as you have a package that includes NFL Network, you can access NFL Red Zone online at nflwatch.com or via the NFL app on your favorite streaming device (e.g., Chromecast, Apple TV). I will warn you that users experienced problems streaming this past weekend due to the massive number of cord cutters trying to stream at the same time. Hopefully they get it all worked out by this Sunday.