NFL Sunday Ticket

NFL Sunday Ticket

The National Football League (NFL) Sunday Ticket is an out-of-market sports package that telecasts games during the regular season that aren’t available on local affiliates. It broadcasts every regional Fox and CBS Sunday afternoon game. Based on the advertisements, it is assumed that the ideal client for this package would be a sports bar looking…

The National Football League (NFL) Sunday Ticket is an out-of-market sports package that telecasts games during the regular season that aren’t available on local affiliates. It broadcasts every regional Fox and CBS Sunday afternoon game. Based on the advertisements, it is assumed that the ideal client for this package would be a sports bar looking to draw in more business by drawing in fans of out-of-market teams, or a fan of a team that is unable to watch their team on local television due to not living in one of those teams’ markets.

NFL Sunday Ticket

NFL Sunday Ticket was moved exclusively to YouTube TV for residential customers in the United States starting with the 2023 NFL season. Additionally, NFL Sunday Ticket was made available as a standalone subscription option on YouTube’s recently launched Primetime Channels service. The package was then distributed to bars, restaurants, and other commercial venues by the league through the creation of a new business called EverPass Media. The package was distributed in the US only by DirecTV from 1994 to 2023 (the package was also available on the Internet, on some tablets and smartphones, and on JetBlue flights).

Currently, NFL Sunday Ticket is available on DAZN in Canada, Sky México in Mexico and Central America, Vrio in South America and the Caribbean, and a number of cable providers in The Bahamas and Bermuda.

United States

Up until the conclusion of the 2022 NFL season, satellite TV provider DirecTV held exclusive rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket package in the US. While it was purported that other satellite and cable companies could have bid for the privilege of carrying NFL Sunday Ticket if they also agreed to carry the NFL Network, DirecTV chose to pay the NFL $1.5 billion annually for the following eight years in order to extend their contract past 2014. Completing the agreement was also a prerequisite for AT&T’s 2015 purchase of DirecTV.*4 As of the 2015 season, only individuals who are unable to use DirecTV services could access the service through an online-only subscription.

United States

During the first week of the season, NFL Sunday Ticket was available for free on DirecTV. When the 2023 NFL season kicks off, YouTube TV, a streaming television service, will start to offer NFL Sunday Ticket.

Viewers of NFL Sunday Ticket are not included in the local Nielsen ratings. So, by providing NFL Sunday Ticket on cable, the networks lost millions of dollars in revenue from local commercial breaks that CBS and Fox affiliates would have otherwise received (instead of selling national advertisements). Affiliates then contribute to defraying the networks’ programming expenses. Therefore, NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers must be charged a premium price as stipulated in CBS and Fox’s broadcasting contracts.

Blackouts

Also see: Local television blackout policies in the NFL. The NFL Sunday Ticket feed that is sent to viewers is blacked out on Sunday afternoon games that are scheduled to air on the local Fox and CBS affiliates (1998-present) within their designated media market, which is based on the viewer’s address ZIP code. Instead, viewers must watch these games on their local television networks. (This also holds true for the games’ live streaming.)

Blackouts

A game remained blacked out on NFL Sunday Ticket until the end of the 2014 season if the viewer wanted to watch it but it wasn’t sold out in their home market. The status of games that were joined or left in progress during a blackout was typically changed right away. The National Football During the 2015 NFL regular season, the local blackout policy was suspended; it has remained suspended indefinitely.

Extra features

The following add-on features were available on DirecTV through the end of the 2022 season. These features were available as part of the $100 extra Superfan add-on package from 2005 to 2009. Some of them were included in the $100 more expensive NFL Sunday Ticket Max package starting in 2012.

Every game released between 2009 and 2019 was in high definition. The HD games were previously included in the Superfan bundle.

Game Mix

Eight games were displayed simultaneously on this channel, along with the score, remaining time, and quarter that each game is in under the feed. In 2008, a high-definition feed was added, and in 2011, larger cells were added when there were four or fewer games being played.

Red Zone Channel

The Red Zone Channel, which was founded in 2005 and was hosted by Andrew Siciliano, provided Sunday afternoon “whiparound” coverage of all games that were in progress without any commercial breaks, emphasizing crucial plays (scoring plays, crucial turnovers, etc.). Despite having a nearly identical format, the NFL RedZone service, hosted by Scott Hanson and produced by NFL Network and available on various platforms and television providers, was not the same as the DirecTV Red Zone Channel. It debuted four years later, in 2009. Up until the 2023 season, the two services coexisted; Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV exclusively carried the NFL RedZone channel.

Red Zone Channel

Fantasy Zone Channel

This two-channel duo recapped 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. From 2012 to 2022, it was only available on the NFL Sunday Ticket Max package.

Short Cuts

In no more than 30 minutes, this two-channel team recapped every NFL game, even those that were blacked out or locally televised and therefore not available on NFL Sunday Ticket. NFC games are shown on one channel, and AFC games are shown on the other. On Sunday evenings, these highlights go live and run nonstop until Tuesday morning. It was exclusive to the NFL Sunday Ticket Max package from 2012 to 2022.

In no more than 30 minutes, this two-channel team recapped every NFL game, even those that were blacked out or locally televised and therefore not available on NFL Sunday Ticket. NFC games are shown on one channel, and AFC games are shown on the other. On Sunday evenings, these highlights go live and run nonstop until Tuesday morning. It was exclusive to the NFL Sunday Ticket Max package from 2012 to 2022.

Highlights on Demand

With this feature, NFL Sunday Ticket games were recapped every three to four minutes for DirecTV customers with interactive DVRs on channel 1005 on demand.

NFL.com Fantasy Football TV app

NFL.com fantasy football players with Internet-connected set-top boxes can now view their teams and scores straight on their TV screen thanks to the NFL.com Fantasy Football TV app, which was released in 2011.

Computers, tablets and smartphones

Members of NFL Sunday Ticket Max were able to watch games live online as well as on their tablets and smartphones. NFL Sunday Ticket To Go, which costs $50 more than DirecTV service, was made available in 2009 to non-DirecTV customers who couldn’t get satellite television in their houses or apartments because of line of sight problems. NFL Sunday Ticket To Go was available on Motorola Android phones, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry OS devices with 3G or wifi, Palm Pre/Pixi, Samsung Galaxy tablets, Motorola Xoom tablets, and other Droid-branded phones, according to DirecTV.

Gaming consoles

The NFL also provided the Sunday Ticket package for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One video game consoles to those who did have DirecTV.

JetBlue

JetBlue flights to 50 locations nationwide carried the entire schedule of NFL Sunday Ticket games, which were provided by DirecTV between September 26, 2010 and December 29, 2019.

History

Along with NFL Chief of Marketing Michael Miller, Jon Taffer developed the idea for NFL Sunday Ticket during his three years on the NFL Enterprises board. NFL Sunday Ticket debuted in 1994 and was first accessible via Ku band and C band satellites, which have larger receiving dishes. Later in the 1994 season, DirecTV would get involved, televising the NFL Sunday Ticket package during the final five weeks of the regular season before launching the package in its entirety the following year.

The service was made available to Canadian cable systems in 1998; Rogers Cable in Ontario was one of the first systems to provide it. Sunday Ticket’s exclusive status among cable providers led to in an attempt to compel the NFL to grant access to Canadian satellite providers through a complaint filed with the CRTC by ExpressVu (now Bell Satellite TV), the CRTC rejected the complaint.

NFL Sunday Ticket History

NFL Sunday Ticket was to be carried by DirecTV through the end of the 2022 season. Less than half of DirecTV’s subscribers would need to use Sunday Ticket in order for the service to break even, and the league would need to add more games outside of the customary Sunday afternoon windows. Both the service and its majority owner, AT&T, have been on record as questioning the value of the package. During the first weekend of the 2021 season, CNBC revealed that the league was considering acquiring a share in NFL Network and collaborating with a streaming service for future rights. This would be the last The NFL’s partnership with DirecTV after almost thirty years.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced to CNBC in July 2022 that Sunday Ticket would be hosted by a streaming service chosen by the league, with the winner to be revealed in the fall of that year. Prominent streaming services ESPN, Apple Inc., and Amazon were vying for the contract. YouTube also put in a bid for Sunday Ticket, according to a report published in the New York Times that same month. According to a CNBC story from October, Apple requested unrestricted and flexible global streaming rights, something the NFL is unable to provide because of its current agreements with Fox and CBS, which ensure local game exclusivity.

The league declared on December 22, 2022, that NFL Sunday Ticket will only air on YouTube TV and the platform’s newly introduced Primetime.
Residential customers can access the channels through this service. On March 28, 2023, the league announced that it had partnered with RedBird Capital to form a new company called EverPass Media, which will distribute the commercial rights to the package. This means that bars, restaurants, casinos, and other commercial venues can continue to show games without having to modify their systems to accommodate a platform that will only be available for streaming.

International distribution

Bermuda, The Bahamas, Canada, Mexico, and Latin America have all been able to access NFL Sunday Ticket. NFL Sunday Ticket has largely been superseded in foreign countries and territories by other services such as NFL Game Pass International, though it is still accessible abroad under certain conditions, as will be covered below.

Canada

Previously, the majority of significant pay television providers in Canada offered NFL Sunday Ticket, frequently in combination with other sports packages. The NFL’s out-of-market package rights were acquired by streaming service DAZN in July 2017, with effect from the 2017 NFL season. In Canada, the provider’s service includes both NFL Game Pass and the games that were previously accessible through this service.

But after a series of technical issues and user complaints dogged DAZN’s Canadian debut, the company revealed that it was now providing NFL Sunday Ticket to cable companies as a substitute for its over-the-top offering.

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