TV Answer Man, I love your site and I finally have a question for you. A friend of mine who works at a local hospital says DIRECTV has the NFL Sunday Ticket there. Is that even possible? The NFL Sunday Ticket at a hospital?! Hospital!? Wouldn’t a close game put some patients over the line, if you know what I mean? I’m kidding, but can you tell me if hospitals can have the Ticket? — Jim, town withheld upon request.
Jim, DIRECTV has had an exclusive agreement with the National Football League for 28 years to provide the NFL Sunday Ticket to its residential subscribers. The satcaster has also provided the package of out-of-market Sunday afternoon games to bars and restaurants for years, as most rabid fans know.
But I would bet that few know that DIRECTV also offers an extensive channel lineup, which includes the Sunday Ticket, to hotels, college dormitories, senior living communities, shops and…hospitals. Yes, hospitals.
In fact, like the residential subscriptions, new hospital subscribers can get the Sunday Ticket for free with its package of basic cable channels.
“2022 NFL SUNDAY TICKET will be delivered at no extra cost in all guest rooms for the 2022 season for all new DIRECTV Residential Experience (DRE) customers or COM System customers,” DIRECTV says at its web site.
To get the Sunday Ticket, a hospital must subscribe to the Family plan (starts at $3.50 a room) or above and sign a three or five-year programming agreement. (New residential subs must sign a two-year contract.)
The terms of the hospital’s contract also says the Sunday Ticket sub will automatically renew in year two at a special renewal rate of $99. Now you might note that DIRECTV may not carry the Sunday Ticket next year, but the terms add “provided that DIRECTV still carries these services at the time of renewal.”
You can heal faster watching DIRECTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket. (Photo from DIRECTV.com.)
You can see why DIRECTV is interested in continuing to offer the Sunday Ticket to businesses even if a streaming service such as Apple or Google takes over the residential business starting in 2023. (DIRECTV has said it does not plan to renew its contract with the league but would like to continue offering the Ticket in partnership with whatever streaming company gets the rights next.)
I can’t tell you which hospitals actually carry the Ticket, but I can’t imagine that you would base your emergency health needs on which one that does. But if you find yourself in a hospital bed anytime soon, don’t be surprised if there’s a football game on your room TV. Or several football games.
Jim, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann