By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, DIRECTV is doing a big Sunday Ticket promotion for new customers where they can get Visa cards to pay their Sunday Ticket subscriptions on YouTube. My question is how come the existing customers aren’t getting that? We have stuck with DIRECTV although they lost the Ticket but we don’t get squat, do we? Can you ask them about this, please? — Jerry, Boston.
Jerry, DIRECTV, which is not carrying the NFL Sunday Ticket for the first time since 1994, is offering new customers $400 in Visa cards if they subscribe to a DIRECTV base programming package and separately buy the football package from YouTube which now has the rights. The offer is good until October 2, 2023, and the rules note that YouTube and the NFL are not part of the promotion. This is all DIRECTV. “From us to you. Access NFL Sunday Ticket from YouTube and get up to $400 in Visa Reward Cards!” DIRECTV says on its site’s home page.

The new customer promotion has prompted a handful of e-mails from existing DIRECTV subscribers who ask why they are not getting offers of $400 in Visa cards to buy the NFL Sunday Ticket. Their sentiment is understandable. Although DIRECTV has lost the package of out-of-market Sunday afternoon games, they have decided to stay loyal and maintain their satellite subscriptions. Shouldn’t they be rewarded, too?

It’s not uncommon for a company to provide incentives for new customers while not providing the same benefits to its existing ones. That may seem unfair, but it’s a tenet in corporate marketing. Companies have concluded they need to spend more on new customer acquisition to attract reluctant consumers. In contrast, they already have the existing customers in place. And in some cases, such as DIRECTV’s two-year programming agreements, the existing subscriber has little flexibility to cancel so why spend your precious marketing dollars on them?

Despite that, I asked a DIRECTV spokesman yesterday if the company had a similar Visa Sunday Ticket deal for existing customers. The response: “DIRECTV has also made special offers available to a limited number of existing customers that were former NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers.” I asked the spokesman for details, such as how many existing customers have received ‘special offers,’ or what the offers were. But the spokesman refused to provide additional information.

Jerry, if you have not received a ‘special offer’ from DIRECTV, I would suggest that you call them and ask for one. There’s no guarantee that you will be offered anything, but you never know.

Hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann