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Last Year for Sunday Ticket?

Discussion in 'General Satellite Discussion' started by Scott Greczkowski, May 1, 2002.

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  1. May 1, 2002 #1 of 25
    Scott Greczkowski

    Scott Greczkowski Banned User

    Mar 21, 2002
    I am hearing rumblings that this could be the last year for the NFL Sunday Ticket.

    C Band sales of the Sunday Ticket package are at an all time low.

    Sales of Sunday Ticket on DirecTV were about the same as last year.

    The contract for Sunday Ticket expires after this season, which means new contract negotations will start soon (if they haven't already)

    Cable wants the package,
    DBS wants the package.

    Broadcasters dont want you to have the package. Local stations would rather you watch them with your own local commercials. With only one provider offering Sunday Ticket local viewership was not effected much, however if the flood gates open up and everyone can offer the Sunday Ticket then the NFL has no value for the local broadcasters. Its a catch 22.

    (BTW this is all my opinion)

    So what should the NFL do? Sell their out of market games to anyone who wants them or does the NFL stand behind its local broadcasters (from whom they get their raitings) and discontinue the Sunday Ticket? Or do they raise the price of Sunday Ticket so that only the most die hard fans will want the package?

    Your opinions please!
  2. May 1, 2002 #2 of 25

    RichW Hall Of Fame/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

    Mar 29, 2002
    I suspect that Suday Ticket, or its equivalent, will always be offered in some form or another. The major market is sports bar commericial subscriptions. The NFL is not about to give up the dollars it gets from these sources. Residential subscriptions might disappear, for the political reasons you mention, but more likely, networks woud still be interested in carrying NFL game. But perhaps they will be less inclined to participate in a bidding war.

    I believe that the pricing for NFLST this past year only appeal to "die-hard" fans anyway. Most people are content to watch the NFL on "free" TV, whatever the game.
  3. May 1, 2002 #3 of 25
    Richard King

    Richard King Hall Of Fame

    Mar 25, 2002
    They should go to a season ticket available for each team individually (at a substantially reduced cost).
  4. May 1, 2002 #4 of 25

    Keith4USC Guest

    I think Directv will keep the package but it will be available on all cable systems also.... It will probably be offered to Dish but Charlie will say no.... He will tell anyone who wants it should go with cable or directv....
  5. May 1, 2002 #5 of 25

    BearsFan Godfather

    Apr 22, 2002
    Chicago Suburbs
    I would agree here. Even though I find it an extra perk that I get to watch all the other NFL games besides my Bears, I was ready to plunk down the cash to watch JUST my Bears in the first place, until as a new D* (new to DBS in general) I realized I would get to watch all the games.

    When you think about it, if NFLST is about $160, that's $10 per game (not counting Sun. night & Monday night games...if you want to count them, because they're free to everyone [technically], then about $12-$18 a game).

    Compared to the $50 ticket + parking + food + everything else it costs to actually attend a game in person, NFLST is a steal.

    Would I pay the $160 even if it was just the one team of my own choosing? I guess I'm big enough of a fan to say yes.

  6. May 1, 2002 #6 of 25

    Maniacal1 Godfather/Supporter

    Apr 9, 2002
    I expect Sunday Ticket will continued to be offered in some form. The commercial establishment arrangement is way too lucrative to terminate, and as long as it exists, the incremental costs to provide them to homes is very little.

    Many more cable systems now have the capacity to offer sports league packages now that they have laid the groundwork for digital cable. All the cable systems in my area are suddenly offering MLB EI now. The added capacity makes it much more likely that Sunday Ticket is viable on enough cable systems to make it worthwhile.

    I expect DirecTV may still be the "exclusive small antenna satellite provider" in future years, but I expect many cable outlets will find it to be profitable, too.
  7. May 1, 2002 #7 of 25
    Scott Greczkowski

    Scott Greczkowski Banned User

    Mar 21, 2002
    I agree that it will still be available for sports bars, although I feel that the sale to home users will be VERY expensive or it wont be available at all.
  8. May 1, 2002 #8 of 25

    Mike Icon

    Apr 9, 2002
    You can't discriminate against the homeowners. If homeowners can't have it, then bars shouldn't be allowed to have it. Anyone been to the National Sports Bar in Anaheim? They shouldn't be allowed to have it based on the stupid logic they use to put games on what TV and the fact it takes 1/2 hour to put the games in good spots to see all of the games! :) That's after submitting bribes.

    The Sunday Ticket cost was $99 in '94 and '95 on c-band and gone up a little bit each year after that. I'd pay up to $200 a season for the games I guess. Maybe more if I was forced too, but then I'd start collecting money from the people that come over each Sunday to help out.

    Scott - How many people are subscribing on c-band now? The problem with c-band is that the games are on 2 birds now and that's a pain in the butt. Much like the T302 and K1 birds of the past. If they go digital like 4DTV then maybe they can be on one bird, but how many people have 4DTV that want the Sunday Ticket?

    I think we will be allowed to have the Sunday Ticket after this year, but if the Bears game is on locally then I'll be blacked out of it on DirecTV/c-band with the Sunday Ticket. If KTTV switches to another game then I'm screwed (see the NCAA Men's Hoops scenarios for examples).

    The NFL tried to scramble the games in 1990 on c and ku, but Budweiser stepped up to the plate becuase sports bars wouldn't see the games. Not that many people had cband, so the NFL probably wasn't concerned with the c-band owner at home at that time. Sports bars speaked out and the NFL listened delaying the backhaul/network scrambling. Now the 'hauls are fiber and most network feeds are digital, so sports bars/consumers need the Sunday Ticket now.

    Fast forward after the TV contract ended in 1993 and the creation of the Sunday Ticket for the 1994 season. Backhaul feeds were now scrambled, but we (consumers and bars) could watch the games on one satellite of Telstar 303. Not sure if the package started on DirecTV in 1994.

    What's the subscriber rate now for DirecTV viewers at home and sports bars? What was it in 1996?

    Now you have more people at homes that have access to the NFL games (compared to 1990 and 1993) and they will be upset if the local sports bar has the games and we don't have them at home. That's just discrimination. Look for some type of a local blackout rule, so I have to watch KCBS and KTTV commercials and news updates when Terry is yelling at Howie on the national feed of the games at halftime.

    If the merger happens and you get cheapskate Charlie the Tuna running the show then all bets are off for the consumers. I just can't see the games not on DirecTV next year. Maybe the NFL can get cable companies in the loop and get more revenue that way and keep the games on DirecTV?
  9. May 2, 2002 #9 of 25

    Ryan Icon

    Apr 24, 2002
    The NFL could protect local affiliates by blacking out local games in the package and forcing us to watch on our local stations.

    I hope that doesn't happen, but it's possible.

    I think it's crazy to kill the package altogether.
  10. Scott Greczkowski

    Scott Greczkowski Banned User

    Mar 21, 2002
    Sure you can, it happened last year, when the WWF pulled it programming from DirecTV customers the Pay Per Views were still made available from DirecTV to Sports Bars (Called Blast Zones)

    They can sell to who they want and deny service to anyone they wish as well.
  11. SParker

    SParker Active Member

    Apr 27, 2002
    From what I understand the WWF had a seperate contract with DTV to sell it to sports bars and the one for DTV to sell to regular customers expired a couple months before the commercial contract expired.

  12. lee635

    lee635 Hall Of Fame

    Apr 17, 2002
    They won't kill the Sunday ticket. It's the future of sports. Free sports are going to be fewer and fewer. Look to the NFL to expand the ST to cable unless DirecTV agrees to pay dearly.
  13. Scott Greczkowski

    Scott Greczkowski Banned User

    Mar 21, 2002
    And the contract will be expiring for NFL Sunday Ticket on DirecTV (Both Residential and Commercial)

    Theres nothing to stop the NFL from offering the package to only commercial accounts.

    Its just something to think about.
  14. Psycho 1

    Psycho 1 Guest

    I switched from Directv to the Dish Network because I could still watch my beloved Oakland Raiders via the LA CBS net.Well as of Feb 12 that changed for me.Since I lost my west coast nets I lost my access to my Raiders games.I have yet to decide how I will handle this situation.If anyone has an idea how I can avoid buying a Directv system (just to watch my team) please email me at Psycho1@dbstalk.com. Thanks!
  15. Mike

    Mike Icon

    Apr 9, 2002
    Are you really comparing the NFL to WWF? :) I think I read 2 gripes about the WWF not being on DirecTV in the forums and newsgroups and even from friends.

    You will hear lots more including considerable ink if the Sunday Ticket is either discontinued period or for just the bars. It doesn't make any sense to just sell to the bars. No one will be home period to catch the local adds on WAVY, KSAZ, KPNX, etc.... Everyone wll be at sports bars. At least if the games were on at home via the Sunday Ticket then people might see the local feeds of the games especially if the games on locally will be blacked out on the Sunday Ticket.

    NFL has no choice but to continue with the Sunday Ticket now (too many people have DirecTV just for that programming). People will become really upset and they can get the sponsors behind it like in 1990.
  16. Scott Greczkowski

    Scott Greczkowski Banned User

    Mar 21, 2002
    Mike I think we will find out whats going to happen later on this year. I am under the thinking that this will be the last year for the NFL Sunday Ticket as we know it.
  17. Guest

    Charlie will the Sunday ticket. I believe that he will try to keep the contract without it being exclusive, but if the NFL mandates it to be exclusive to keep the bidding high on its rights, Charlie will keep the rights to DBS.

  18. Mike

    Mike Icon

    Apr 9, 2002
    Yep, I agree. :p I think we will have blackouts that exists with the NCAA package. If the NFL/KTTV changes the game then I better have the blackout lifted on the Sunday Ticket. Some people do have fantasy pools and weekly bets where all of the games are kind of nice to watch. I've seen every single NFL game since the 5th week of the 1988 season, so I kind of want to continue that streak :)
  19. John

    John Cool Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    I totally disagree with the whole premise that Sunday Ticket is coming to an end.

    Subscriber number were not going to rise the way they have over the last seven years on Directv. Fewer and fewer people use C-Band combined with the games being on 2 sats makes it difficult to check all the games(as Mike mentioned).

    When the NFL is ready to make a new agreement for ST.Theywill call Directv telling them the amount and number of years to hold onto the contract. At that point Directv will decide whether to pay up or lose the package. Yes will keep the package. No,will open it to the next programmer of the NFLs choosing.

    The misunderstanding is that the NFL opens negotiations to all and the highest bidder gets the "prize."

    This is the reason why I would not expect cable to get ST.

    My opinion is that before the start of the 2002 season Directv will sign a 3 year deal for continued exclusive rights to NFL Sunday Ticket.
  20. Rusty

    Rusty Legend

    Apr 25, 2002
    I think that the package will be renewed with DirecTV for a term that will expire at the same time that the NFL's current contracts with the broadcast networks expires. I do not think that the package will be offered to Cable TV because that will really cut into the number of viewers watching the games on the local network affils. The broadcast networks are paying too much money to idly sit by and allow Cable systems to bring 13 or 14 games into their market each Sunday. The number of Sunday Ticket subs via DirecTV is, overall, relatively low. The broadcast network affils are willing to live with that but they will wail like banshees if the hundreds of Cable systems are allowed to bring the entire schedule into their market each Sunday. As a long time sports broadcaster, albeit a retired one, I can say, with some certainty, that negotiations between the NFL and DirecTV are going on at present and have been for some time now. In matters of this type, the league always wraps-up it's contracts early.
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