DIRECTV has quietly begun selling a streaming version of the NFL Sunday Ticket to non-DIRECTV subscribers in 29 select markets, the TVAnswerman.com has learned. The 29 markets include the home cities for 26 of the 32 NFL teams. (See complete list and story update below.)
Jim Greer, an AT&T spokesperson, today confirmed that DIRECTV is permitting consumers in the select markets to order the package of out-of-market games without a subscription to DIRECTV, or any other AT&T-owned TV service. You can check your eligibility here.
Greer said the list of 29 markets will soon be added to the Sunday Ticket’s streaming page. He added that the Sunday Ticket is available in those markets with “select zip codes that qualify.”
That would appear to be a large number of people in each market. The TVAnswerMan.com this morning went to the Sunday Ticket streaming page and tested the eligibility for 10 random properties (all within city limits) in several markets and found they were all eligible.
“I’d encourage folks to check their eligibility on the website,” Greer said this afternoon.
Update: It would appear that consumers who live within a city limits, or a nearby suburb of that city, are more likely to be ruled eligible. Some readers who live 20 or 30 miles (or more) from a major city say they were deemed not eligible when they inputted their address at DIRECTV’s web site.
In the past, DIRECTV has said only university students, or consumers who could prove they could not get DIRECTV service at their residence, could order the streaming version of the Sunday Ticket. Otherwise, the satcaster said, you needed a DIRECTV subscription, and a satellite dish and receiver.
In addition, two years ago, DIRECTV Now (now called AT&T TV Now) subscribers were permitted to purchase a streaming plan in seven markets. But that limited offer was scrapped last year.
But now in the 29 markets, you can order the streaming version of the Sunday Ticket without any other AT&T or DIRECTV subscription, or requirement to prove you are a college student, or can’t get DIRECTV at your home.
The larger availability should significantly add to DIRECTV’s Sunday Ticket subscription numbers, and help offset AT&T’s fees for the exclusive rights to the plan. DIRECTV in 2014 agreed to pay $12 billion to carry the plan for eight years.
The NFL Sunday Ticket’s streaming edition can be ordered here for $293.96 for the ‘To Go’ plan, which includes every out-of-market Sunday afternoon game, real-time stats and scores, ShortCuts (see games commercial-free the next day) and GameMix, which offers up to four games on one screen.
The ‘Max’ version of the streaming plan costs $399.95 and offers the above features as well as the Red Zone Channel, and a DIRECTV fantasy football channel.
The price is the same as for the basic and Max versions of the Sunday Ticket plans that’s available to DIRECTV’s satellite TV subscribers.
The satellite Sunday Ticket Max plan includes the out-of-market NFL games as well as the Red Zone Channel and the capacity to stream the games on various devices. The satellite’s base plan does not include the Red Zone Channel nor the streaming feature.
The 29 markets where you can order the streaming edition of the Sunday Ticket are:
Non-NFL team markets in bold.
Update: Greer tells Variety that DIRECTV has allowed non-subscribers to get the online Sunday Ticket for five years, even if they could get DIRECTV at their homes. However, neither AT&T or DIRECTV has ever said so publicly, or included the feature in promotional materials.
In 2016, when DIRECTV publicly announced it was expanding the online Sunday Ticket to university students and non-subs who couldn’t get DIRECTV at their homes, AT&T’s press release did not note that non-subs who could get DIRECTV could get the streaming version as well. See the press release here.
In addition, in 2019, the TV Answer Man asked AT&T if it could still offer the Sunday Ticket stream to non-subs in seven markets, as it did for one year, in 2018. Jessica Brewer, an AT&T spokesperson, said the company no longer had the rights to do that.
The TV Answer Man has asked Greer why DIRECTV has never said publicly that it was allowing non-subscribers to get the online Sunday Ticket until now. He has not responded to our inquiry.
So if DIRECTV has sold the online Ticket to non-subscribers who can get DIRECTV at their residence for five years, it’s certainly kept it quiet.
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at email@example.com. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann