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NFL Sunday Ticket Is Turning Off League's Most Passionate Fans

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Brace yourselves, folks, because the “NFL is dying as a media property” beat just traded up.

We’ve reported at length here about how broadcast ratings are down for regular games, Monday night games and Thursday night games, but now there are problems with the premium service.

That’s right: NFL Sunday Ticket has run into a firestorm of criticism on social media as the league’s satellite partner, DirecTV, completely botched the rollout of its paid service this year, NBC Sports reported.

Reddit threads are complaining about six-hour wait times and getting passed off to seven different agents on customer service calls.

Twitter is so full of outrage, you’d think this was about politics and not football.

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Another user got salty with his language but correctly pointed out that Sunday Ticket, at its $300 price point, does not have an option similar to the one NBA League Pass offers where you can pay a lower price and subscribe to just the games of the out-of-market team you care about.

Do you subscribe to any sport's out-of-market cable/satellite package?

Awful Announcing points out that even with that insane price, Sunday Ticket is a loss leader for DirecTV, serving a bigger purpose as a means to draw in subscribers for its traditional — and far higher-margin — TV packages.

DirecTV paid the NFL $1.5 billion in 2014 for exclusive rights that run through 2022.

Making matters worse, the Red Zone Channel, which shows every touchdown from every Sunday game, is behind so many pay walls that it was easier for the Ottoman Turks to get into Constantinople than it is for all but the most well-heeled football fan to get into Red Zone Channel.

First you have to pay $300 for Sunday Ticket. Then you have to pony up another $100 for the Red Zone service. And on top of that, if you live in a rainy climate or there’s a solitary tree anywhere within what seems like a mile of your south-facing wall, the signal is about as reliable as a loan payment from your deadbeat uncle, and if you play video games or someone in your household does, the DSL service you have to get since you don’t have cable is a one-way ticket to Lag City.

And, of course, when — not if, when — something goes wrong, you have to deal with that atrocious customer service that Reddit thread talked about and just about every article ever written about DirecTV mentions.

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Does the NFL care about any of this?

Well, it certainly doesn’t care about its billion-dollar media partner, because, as one Twitter user points out, cable subscribers can get NFL RedZone (a different feed with host Scott Hanson instead of Andrew Siciliano) for just nine bucks a month.

The good folks at Awful Announcing even provided a helpful “how to browbeat DirecTV into giving you a cheaper rate on the Sunday Ticket package” to-do list:

The point is that the NFL, already losing ground because of national anthem protests, concussions, inconsistent penalties and any of the myriad other reasons out there, made such a complete mess of the Sunday Ticket launch this year that the resurgent Cleveland Browns could call them a bunch of losers.

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Boston born and raised, Fox has been writing about sports since 2011. He covered ESPN Friday Night Fights shows for The Boxing Tribune before shifting focus and launching Pace and Space, the home of "Smart NBA Talk for Smart NBA Fans", in 2015. He can often be found advocating for various NBA teams to pack up and move to his adopted hometown of Seattle.
Boston born and raised, Fox has been writing about sports since 2011. He covered ESPN Friday Night Fights shows for The Boxing Tribune before shifting focus and launching Pace and Space, the home of "Smart NBA Talk for Smart NBA Fans", in 2015. He can often be found advocating for various NBA teams to pack up and move to his adopted hometown of Seattle.
Birthplace
Boston, Massachusetts
Education
Bachelor of Science in Accounting from University of Nevada-Reno
Location
Seattle, Washington
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Sports




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