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NFL Sunday Ticket Keeping Cord Customers Hostage
DirecTV and the NFL
DirecTV and the NFL started their relationship in 1994. Since then DirecTV has been the dominant satellite company in the United States. According to DirecTV.com it will cost you $353.94 for the big package for a 6 months of the NFL Sunday Ticket. For businesses that seat around 100 people can expect to pay about $2300 for 6 months of the NFL Sunday Ticket, and bigger places like casinos in Vegas will pay about $120,000. I understand every one needs to get paid to stay in business, but paying that much for football games is a joke. The NFL gets $12 billion dollars from DirecTV so they can keep the NFL Sunday Ticket. They have an agreement through the 2022-23 football season. I firmly believe in a company making money, but I do not believe in monopolies price gouging the consumers.
Holding Customers Hostage
I absolutely love watching the NFL. It is what I do on Sundays from the time I get up to the time I go to bed. I have moved from Augusta to Greenville and no longer can see all my Atlanta Falcons games because they play the Carolina Panthers instead. So I can either go to a bar or I have to have DirecTV and pay their crazy high prices to watch the Atlanta Falcons. I refuse to have DirecTV and end up watching NFL Redzone. It is not the same at all. DirecTV has no competition so they can charge whatever they want. If you already have a TV service you are forced to switch to their service to get NFL Sunday Ticket. DirecTV just starting offering online only NFL Sunday Ticket for certain people in condos and apartment buildings. They still charge the same ridiculous price as the paid customers. So what do you do as an NFL fan who doesn't want to get DirecTV and don't live in one of the select apartments or condos?
Can't Cut the Cord
Every one knows the days of having a normal cable and satellite services are going away. Cable companies are offering internet speeds up to 60 MBPS and makes it easier to stream apps and movies. The big issue is switching between all these apps to watch your shows and movies. Apple, Sony, and Dish are all launching their internet only TV services. They still don't include all the channels I want and no locals for the NFL. If I want to watch baseball, college football, NFL Football, NBA, and Soccer I still have to have a cable or satellite connection. MLB only charges $79.99 for the full service with portability. They offer it on several different carriers as well. If the NFL had pricing like that and offered it online only then I would purchase it in a heartbeat. I could easily cut my satellite service off and go to one of the cheaper internet only planes then pay for sports on the side. It would save me around $600 per year or more. With the NFL being as popular as it is I am sure they have millions of people who feel the same way that I do. It is just a shame that the NFL doesn't care.
What Can Be Done?
According to NBC Sports last month lawyers filed a class action against DirecTV and the NFL for antitrust violations from the NFL Sunday Ticket Package. This was a lawsuit specifically for individuals. Another lawsuit has also been filed on behalf of a bar called the Mighty Duck and it represents bars and restaurants around the country. You would think this would be huge news in the sports world considering a verdict not in favor of the NFL and DirecTV would be a death sentence for the NFL Sunday ticket as we know it now. I have looked all over ESPN and have even listened to my satellite radio on the way to work and home. I have not heard one word about it from the person doing the radio show or people calling in. Where is the news coverage and sports talk about this lawsuit? Why is every one being so hush hush? The answer is simple. The NFL has contracts with ESPN, NBC, and Fox who owns a lot of these networks. So why would people bite the hand that feeds them? I am pulling for some kind of change to the way the NFL broadcasts its out of market games to the consumer. Maybe we won't have to wait until the 2022-23 season.