There may not be a sports-related TV service that generates more contrasting views regarding its value and efficacy than the NFL Sunday Ticket.
Every week during the NFL regular season, fans crowd social media sites such as Twitter to discuss their feelings about the package of out-of-market Sunday afternoon games, which is available on DIRECTV, and to some non-DIRECTV subscribers in select markets. Some love to brag that they have it; some are angry that they can’t get it; and others who do have it are incensed it’s not doing what they think it should.
Sports certainly can enflame emotions, both good and bad. But the Sunday Ticket seems to be a lightning rod for all kinds of personal grievances as well as expressions of sheer joy. I counted more than 100 tweets yesterday about the Ticket on Twitter, and I had to stop counting. They just continued and continued.
The free-fall of opinions about a NFL TV package is almost as interesting as watching a NFL game itself. (Note: Some profanity included below. Surprised?)
I really paid for NFL Sunday Ticket Max to watch my team lose every week.. pic.twitter.com/v02NcTEgrx
— PhillyTheBoss.com (@PhillyTheBoss) October 18, 2020
“NFL Sunday ticket max. Watch on any screen” I point my fucking remote control at the goddamn screen door and nothing happens. I fucking punch the things a few times (sometimes that works on my tv) and the only “Sunday action” I’m getting is my dog barking loud as fuck. @NFL ????
— Yung Lil $hrek (@yungjollyboy) October 18, 2020
They want to increase Sunday Ticket sales, too bad we can just find links https://t.co/KxAv3pWIZ9
— Nickelus F (Cowboys 1-3) (@n_dubb56) October 18, 2020
i got sunday ticket holmes, im watching every game das on rn playa https://t.co/WXcGAES0Nu
— JOB DONE (@kantguardme) October 18, 2020
So I pay extra for the RedZone Sunday Ticket and RZ just decides to end early? With only 2 afternoon games and GB/TB is blacked out? So all I can watch is the last 5 min of the Jets? pic.twitter.com/nfoG9FA3jk
— Travis (@newmanclature) October 18, 2020
— Chris Ricker (@MrRicker) October 18, 2020
My Sunday ticket app isn’t even working on my Roku. Only on my phone.
— D (@___Danimal) October 18, 2020
I'm a jets fan, but I am dam glad I have the Sunday Ticket or else I'd have to watch the giants and Jets every dam week
— Gustavo Escobar (@GustavoEsco1077) October 18, 2020
The fact that DIRECTV has an exclusive contract with the league to offer the package is a major source of some of the derision about the Ticket. However, the satcaster has had that exclusive since the Ticket launched in 1994, and it pays the league a princely sum of roughly $1.5 billion a year for the privilege.
But fans can’t understand why the NFL doesn’t simply open it up to anyone. And it makes them mad.
How does the @NFL have so many barriers to consume their product? Unreal how limited the number of games are on any given Sunday. I would pay for Sunday ticket without DirectTV but my area gets it because I don’t live in the woods so no can do. The NFL sucks
— Anthony Caselnova (@CNova754) October 18, 2020
The only Ogdensburg bar with Sunday NFL Ticket is also openly pro-Trump and openly contemptuous of COVID safety measures. Guess I’m watching 🏈 at home 🤷🏾♂️ pic.twitter.com/wLAOefLXKd
— Sean Pidgeon (@Sean_Pidgeon) October 18, 2020
And some people who are able to access the streaming version of the Ticket aren’t always happy that they did:
— Lou DiPietro (@LouDiPietroWFAN) October 18, 2020
— Granddaddy… But yo age (@imsupaflyjimmy) October 18, 2020
Mike Ryan Ruiz, executive producer of The Dan Le Batard show on ESPN, yesterday complained on Twitter that his local stations in South Florida were airing only two NFL games. Told by a follower that he should get the Sunday Ticket, Ruiz suggested he would rather engage in piracy before subscribing to DIRECTV:
I just moved and installed a home theater. Why would I sign up for DirecTV for one year? They’re not putting any more satellites in the sky. They’ve said as much. This is the last year of their Sunday Ticket agreement. The more practical answer is committing some sort of piracy.
— Mike Ryan (Ruiz) (@MichaelRyanRuiz) October 18, 2020
Considering that the Sunday Ticket has been a source of frustration for non-DIRECTV customers for 26 years, it’s not too surprising that there are such strong feelings about it. America loves football and getting the Sunday Ticket would be like finding the Holy Grail for some.
First you assumed I didn’t watch. Then you said you know I don’t cause I don’t have Sunday ticket. Then you tried talking down on me. Followed by you bringing my other teams up. Lmao. You must hump your Gurley bed set while you sleep.
— 3 Good Teams (@HouLAPhx) October 18, 2020
But until DIRECTV’s exclusive contract expires after the 2022 season — or if it decides to allow more non-DIRECTV subscribers to get the Ticket — it will be a thing that America loves and hates. And sometimes because of its huge price ($295 for the basic version on DIRECTV), something it hates to love.
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— Phillip Swann