NFL Sunday Ticket

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NFL Sunday Ticket is an out-of-market sports package that broadcasts National Football League regular season games unavailable on local affiliates. It carries all regional Sunday afternoon games produced by Fox and CBS. The ideal customer of this package is presumed (based on advertisements) to be a fan of a team who is unable to see their team on local television because they do not reside in that team's market. The package is available in the United States exclusively on DirecTV (which also offers it on the Internet, on certain tablets and smartphones, and JetBlue Airways flights); in Canada on several satellite and cable providers, in Mexico and Latin America on SKY México, in South America and the Caribbean on DirecTV Latin America, and several cable providers in The Bahamas and Bermuda.

United States: DirecTV[edit]

Currently, American satellite provider DirecTV has exclusive rights to NFL Sunday Ticket in the United States until the contract expires at the end of the 2014–15 season.[1] Prior to the NFL's latest television deal, other satellite and cable providers were allowed to bid on the rights to carry NFL Sunday Ticket if they agreed to carry the NFL Network. However, DirecTV still won exclusivity for the package, bidding over $700 million a year to do so. This has long been one of DirecTV's selling points to consumers, and thus likely explains the large premium they pay for the privilege.[citation needed] Still, the NFL has indicated that another reason they accepted DirecTV's bid was to limit the availability of the product so that the television networks and especially their local affiliates would be protected.[citation needed] In particular, NFL Sunday Ticket viewers do not count towards local Nielsen ratings; thus offering NFL Sunday Ticket on cable might cost CBS and Fox affiliates millions of dollars in lost revenue from local commercial breaks (as opposed to national ads sold by the networks). In turn, affiliates help subsidize the networks' programming costs. Since the launch of new satellites, DirecTV no longer drops other HD feeds to broadcast the NFL Sunday Ticket games in HD. DirecTV offers a free preview of NFL Sunday Ticket for the first week of the season.

Contract extension[edit]

On March 23, 2009, it was announced that DirecTV paid $4 billion to extend its exclusive contract for NFL Sunday Ticket until 2014.[1] The contract extension also calls for the establishment of an online version of NFL Sunday Ticket, for customers who cannot subscribe to DirecTV by 2012 as well as a separate NFL Network-produced "Red Zone" channel to be carried on other American television providers.[2]

Blackouts[edit]

If a game the viewer wishes to watch is blacked out in their home market because it's not sold out, the game remains blacked out on NFL Sunday Ticket. Any other game televised locally is also blacked out (viewers must watch them instead on their local Fox or CBS affiliates).[3] Games joined or switched away from in progress usually have their blackout status altered immediately.[citation needed]

Extra features[edit]

DirecTV offers the following extra features.[4] From 2005–09 these features were part of an add-on package called Superfan and cost $100 extra. As of 2012, some of them are part of the NFL Sunday Ticket Max package which costs an extra $100.[5]

Since 2009, all games have been in high definition. The HD games were formerly part of the Superfan package.

Game Mix

This channel shows eight games at once, along with the game's score, time left in the game, and the quarter that the game is in under the game's feed. Starting in 2008, it added a high-definition feed, and in 2011, it added larger cells when four or fewer games are being played.[6]

Red Zone Channel

This channel acts as a viewer's "remote control" and switches around various NFL games as plays of interest occur (scoring plays, key turnovers, etc.) The coverage is hosted by NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano and has been offered on some airlines, such as Jet Blue. As of 2012, it is only available on the new NFL Sunday Ticket Max package. [5]

As of the 2007 season, this channel is provided in HD.

Note: This is not to be confused with the NFL Network's RedZone channel, which is produced separately with a different host. That channel airs at the same time on Dish Network, various cable systems, and also on Verizon Wireless smartphones.

Short Cuts

This two-channel duo recaps every NFL game in 30 minutes or less, including games not available on NFL Sunday Ticket because they were televised locally or blacked out. One channel shows AFC games while the other shows NFC games. These highlights are made available on Sunday nights and are shown continuously until Tuesday morning. As of 2012, it is only available on the new NFL Sunday Ticket Max package.[5]

Highlights on Demand

DirecTV subscribers with interactive DVRs receive a three to four minute recap of every NFL Sunday Ticket game on demand with this feature, via channel 1005. As of 2012, it is only available on the new NFL Sunday Ticket Max package. [5]

NFL.com Fantasy Football TV app

Starting in 2011, the NFL.com Fantasy Football TV app will allow NFL.com fantasy players with Internet connected set-top boxes to view their NFL.com Fantasy Football teams and scores directly on their TV screen. [6]

Computers, tablets and smartphones[edit]

NFL Sunday Ticket Max subscribers can also stream games on the Internet and their smartphones and tablets. [5] Starting in 2009, NFL Sunday Ticket To Go is also available to non-DirecTV subscribers who are unable to receive satellite television in their homes or apartments due to line of sight issues. The cost is $50 more than those with DirecTV service.[7] DirecTV offers NFL Sunday Ticket To Go on Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy tablets; Motorola Android phones; the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry OS devices with 3G or wifi, Palm Pre/Pixi, and other Droid-branded phones. [6]

JetBlue[edit]

Starting on October 3, 2010, DirecTV began offering the full slate of NFL Sunday Ticket games on JetBlue Airways flights to 50 destinations across the United States.[8]

PlayStation Network[edit]

From 2011-2012, DirecTV offered NFL Sunday Ticket on the PlayStation Network (PSN). The fee was $339.96 per year ($84.99 every month for four months) but was reduced to $199.99 mid-season.[9] The PSN offer was discontinued in 2013.[10]

History[edit]

NFL Sunday Ticket was launched in 1994 and was available on both DirecTV (which had launched just months earlier) and on C-band and Ku-band satellites, for which the receiving dishes are larger in size.[citation needed] Within several years, the service became available on various cable systems in Canada as well.[citation needed] In a blurb about himself on a high school reunion website, Bar Rescue host and nightlife connoisseur, Jon Taffer credits himself as one of the "inventors" of NFL Sunday Ticket. [11]

International Distribution[edit]

NFL Sunday Ticket is also available in Canada, Mexico, Latin America, Bermuda and The Bahamas.

Canada[edit]

In Canada, NFL Sunday Ticket has been made available on a non-exclusive basis to the following satellite and cable providers:

The lack of exclusivity for any provider is due to Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regulations.

México and Central America[edit]

South America and Caribbean[edit]

Bermuda[edit]

Bahamas[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]