Nobody should ever pay for NFL Sunday Ticket

As more and more people cut cable and look for ways to only get the programming and sports they want without all the extra fluff, streaming packages from the major sports leagues have grown more common, and continue to give fans extras to try to sway them into purchasing their streaming package.

And depending on your league of choice, they can range from a downright bargain, like the entire WNBA package being just $17, to the NBA’s package for $200. You also have the MLB at $120, which is a bargain and includes all the radio feeds, and the NHL at $140.

But the worst value in all of sports, streaming or not, is NFL Sunday Ticket, which announced yesterday that DirecTV was jacking up prices to $293.94 for just the games, or $395 for the games plus NFL RedZone. And really, if you’re dropping $300 for the package, what the hell is another $100 for one of the best channels in sports…that only works once a week.

$400 for a season of football is a giant ripoff, and nobody should pay for that for a number of reasons.

First off, if you’re a casual NFL fan like I am, you only care about watching your favorite team, and then the biggest games of the week. And the biggest games of the week are always on CBS, FOX, NBC, or ESPN, so there is no need to purchase Sunday Ticket for that reason. This isn’t like baseball or hockey where A game between two first-place teams is only on regional sports stations, if it’s a big game, the NFL has it on either free TV or ESPN. You aren’t buying Sunday Ticket for the big games.

The only reason somebody might be excused for purchasing Sunday Ticket is they live out of the broadcast area of their favorite team, and want to see them play, but when you factor in national games or even just regional opponents, you end up with an insane cost per game for the service.

Let’s take me for instance. I am a Detroit Lions fan. They are an OK team that ends up on national TV a couple of times of year depending on opponents, and then might end up on regional coverage here if they play Houston or Dallas that year. So if I were to purchase Sunday Ticket at $400, I am getting let’s say 13 games that I need to watch on it. That is almost $31 PER GAME to watch the Lions 13 times that season. Even at the $294 price, that’s more than $22 per game to watch.

And if you’re a fan of someone like the Cowboys, Packers, Patriots, or Steelers, almost every game is either on national TV, or is the FOX or CBS Game of the Week that the majority of the countries sees in either the 1pm or 4pm time slot. You’d be paying at least double what a Lions fan would on a per game basis. There is no way it is worth $50 a game to watch your favorite team play.

Let’s compare that with all the other packages to see how many games you would need to watch of your favorite team to beat the per game price for Sunday Ticket, and we’ll even guestimate at how many games you get with those other streaming packages that aren’t on national TV.

  • NHL at $140, 5 games of 75 at the $400 price, 7 games at the $294 price
  • MLB at $120, 4 games of 150 at the $400 price, 6 games at the $294 price
  • NBA at $200, 7 games of 75 at the $400 price, 10 games at the $294 price

And that’s if you watch 100 percent of your team’s available games on Sunday Ticket. If you miss a game to do anything else, your price per game goes up even more. So on the other streaming services you need to watch anywhere from 2 percent of games up to just under 10 percent of games to get more value than you’re paying for Sunday Ticket.

There is just no way that you are getting good “value” out of Sunday Ticket at that rate of $22-31 per game. Shit, you’d be better of taking that money each week, and going to a bar that has Sunday Ticket, and taking your $22-31 and buying food and drink. Heck, you could buy food and drink for at least two people with that money. Sunday Ticket you’re just getting the game, but it is in the comfort of your own home.

Now, I realize DirecTV does things to lower that price, either grandfathering you in at a lower rate, or throwing in a year or two of it free if you switch to DirecTV, but if you are just straight up trying to buy it with none of those options available, you’re wasting your money.


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