By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, the NFL season is getting close and I still can’t decide whether to get the Sunday Ticket or the RedZone channel or both with the Sunday Ticket bundle. Which one do you think is better? I would appreciate your advice. — Bob, Cleveland.
Bob, that’s a great question and one I suspect many football fans ponder before making their ultimate decision. The NFL Sunday Ticket, which is available on Google’s YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels this year after being an exclusive on DIRECTV for 28 seasons, offers all Sunday afternoon regular season out-of-market games. The price now starts at $299 (with the $50 preseason discount) on YouTube TV while the base price on YouTube Primetime Channels is $399 (with the $50 preseason discount). The YouTube TV Ticket requires a $72.99 a month YouTube TV subscription; Primetime Channels does not. If you add the NFL RedZone channel to the base Ticket, the price increases by $40 on each package.
The NFL RedZone channel, which is hosted by Scott Hanson, offers live look-ins at all Sunday afternoon games, out-of-market and in-market, with an emphasis on games when one team is in the ‘red zone,’ inside its opponent’s 20-yard line. The screen normally is one game at a time, but RedZone sometimes will show multiple games at the same time. It depends on what is taking place in each game. The channel is available on most pay TV providers (you can see a list here) and the price varies, ranging from $10 to $15 a month. Usually, the pay TV service bundles the NFL RedZone with a sports add-on package that includes other channels. The league’s standalone streaming service, NFL Plus, includes the NFL RedZone with its $14.99 a month Premium package.
NFL Sunday Ticket vs. NFL RedZone: Which Is Better?
This depends on what you are aiming to achieve with either plan. The NFL Sunday Ticket is obviously more expensive but it’s vital if you’re living in a different market from where your favorite team is located. The Ticket is the only way to guarantee that you will see every minute of every game of that team, with the exception of games played on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights and a few international games. The Ticket also enables you to keep close tabs on all out-of-market teams which is a great feature for rabid fans and/or fantasy football players. The NFL RedZone is cheaper, but you have less control over what you watch and when.
However, the RedZone is a good bet to show you every scoring play and most other key plays in each game. The channel also has the local games in the mix, which is nice. And we would be remiss not to mention that Scott Hanson does a superb job of narrating the action. There is no host on the Ticket other than the regular broadcasters doing each game.
Bottom line: If you can afford it, the Ticket is a must for fans who don’t live in the markets of their favorite teams. But if you simply want to watch a lot of football and/or track your fantasy football players, the NFL RedZone is the answer. You’ll save money and still get your multi-game football fix.
Bob, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann