The second Sunday of the 2022 NFL season is today and if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket, or you are thinking of getting it, there are 11 things you need to know before the action starts at 1 p.m.
1. Has the Price of the NFL Sunday Ticket Changed? Already?
Yes, it’s just week two and DIRECTV has already lowered the price of the streaming edition of the Sunday Ticket. It’s unclear if the satellite edition has the same price today. See our article for more details.
2. Did DIRECTV Issue Refunds For Last Week’s Technical Problems?
Several live streaming services last Sunday reported technical issues with NFL-related programming, including the NFL Sunday Ticket and the NFL RedZone Channel. At one point, the Sunday Ticket stream was buffering so much that DIRECTV issued a statement suggesting that its satellite subscribers watch the Ticket on the satellite channels instead of the online version.
The satcaster has issued one-week credits to some Ticket subscribers. See our article for more details.
3. Does Any Pay TV Provider Besides DIRECTV Offer the Sunday Ticket?
No, since the Sunday Ticket’s first year in 1994, DIRECTV has had the exclusive rights from the NFL to sell the package. Most recently, the satcaster paid $12 billion in 2014 to carry the Ticket exclusively for eight years.
4. So I Can’t Get the Ticket From My Cable TV Provider?
That’s right. Your cable TV service might carry the Red Zone Channel, but not the Ticket. (The Red Zone Channel offers live look-ins at games when one team crosses its opponent’s 20-yard-line. You can also subscribe directly to the Red Zone channel at the NFL streaming app, but it’s only available on smart phones.)
5. Does DIRECTV Stream Have the Ticket?
No. Only DIRECTV’s satellite service has the Ticket, not DIRECTV Stream, its sister streaming service. To find out why, click here.
6. Doesn’t DIRECTV Offer the Ticket For Free?
DIRECTV earlier this year offered the Ticket for free in e-mails to select existing subscribers. It’s unclear how many existing subscribers got the benefit nor why they did but others didn’t. But if you didn’t get the freebie e-mail, you have to pay.
In addition, DIRECTV includes the Ticket for free to new customers who order the satcaster’s Choice (or above) plan, which now start at $69.99 a month. However, note that you must sign a two-year agreement to subscribe, and year two programming package prices nearly double.
7. Isn’t There a Way to Get the Ticket Without DIRECTV?
Yes. DIRECTV’s streaming edition of the Sunday Ticket is available to university students, people who were enrolled in a college within the last 18 months, people who can prove they can’t get DIRECTV at their residences, and people who “live in select areas within various metropolitan cities.”
That last qualifier — people who live in select areas within various metropolitan cities — has been the topic of some discussion in the last few years. A DIRECTV spokesman told the TV Answer Man in 2020 that the “various metropolitan cities” included 29 different markets where people were eligible for the streaming Sunday Ticket (cost is the same as the satellite version) even if they can get DIRECTV at their residences. That could mean that you could get the Ticket without a DIRECTV subscription, and without being a university student or living in a residence where you can’t get DIRECTV.
However, the spokesman would not elaborate on exactly who in those 29 markets were eligible. After we reported the statement, several non-DIRECTV subscribers sent us e-mails saying they were able to subscribe while many more said they were deemed ineligible.
The bottom line is that it’s still uncertain whether you would be eligible in the 29 markets. The only sure way to determine that is to try the Sunday Ticket eligibility checker here. You can see the 29 markets here.
See video below: Can You Really Get the NFL Sunday Ticket Without DIRECTV?
8. If I’m Eligible, Which Streaming Devices Can I Use?
The Sunday Ticket app is available on numerous streaming devices including Roku and Fire TV. You can see a complete list here.
9. Will the Sunday Ticket Be Available In 4K?
No. The Sunday Ticket games have never been available in 4K, only high-def. This is not DIRECTV’s fault, however. The satcaster can only air a live sporting event in 4K if it’s offered in that format by the network that is broadcasting it. And to date, neither Fox nor CBS have ever produced a single NFL Sunday afternoon game in 4K. (The Sunday Ticket package only includes out-of-market Sunday afternoon games broadcast by CBS and Fox.)
There are no 4K games scheduled during week two on any of the networks carrying the games.
10. If I Have DIRECTV, Will There Be a Free Preview Today?
No. DIRECTV held a free preview for its satellite subscribers during week one. But there will be no free preview for week two, or the rest of the season. However, there is a seven-day free trial for the streaming edition of the Sunday Ticket. (The free trial for the streaming plan requires you to first be deemed eligible to subscribe under the aforementioned rules.)
11. If I Can’t Subscribe, Is There a Way to Watch the Ticket In Bars?
Yes. DIRECTV has a Sports Bar Finder app that allows you to find every bar in your area that will show the Sunday Ticket. See more about the Bar Finder here.
See a demonstration of the Bar Finder below:
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann