DirecTV:No Policy Change For Streaming-Only ‘Ticket’

An online promotion touting a new set of streaming-only, no-satellite-TV-service required subscriptions for the NFL Sunday Ticket package from DirecTV has caused some to mistakenly believe that the online version of the out-of-market football service is being made available to anyone in the U.S.

Not so.

DirecTV confirmed that policies governing who can or can’t qualify for its unbundled, streaming-only Ticket option remains generally unchanged. DirecTV began to push the broadband version of Ticket back in 2009, first testing it in Manhattan for $350, then expanding access to consumers in other markets who qualified for it.

“If you can get DirecTV, you are not eligible for this product, but if you can’t get DirecTV, then you are eligible for this product,” a spokeswoman said via email, noting that DirecTV runs a database that helps the company to determine whether a consumer can get DirecTV service.

The FAQ for the streaming-only packages being offered for the coming NFL season is careful to point out that the online-only service, NFLSundayTicket.TV, “is available to people in select areas, residence types, and enrolled in select universities.” It then directs NFLSundayTicket.TV subscribers to visit www.NFLSundayTicket.TV, where they can input their address to see if they meet the eligibility requirements.

According to DirecTV, students at the following schools are eligible: University of Washington, University of Texas at Austin, University of Southern California, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, University of Florida, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Alabama, Syracuse University, Ohio State University, and Harvard.

What is new is the variety of packages DirecTV is offering to consumers who qualify for the unbundled, streaming-only packages. There are now three to choose from:

- $329.99 for NFLSundayTicket.TV Max

-$239.99 for NFLSundayTicket.TV Console (limited to the Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4), no Red Zone Channel, and no access to DirecTV Fantasy Zone)

-$199.99 for NFLSundayTicket.TV Digital (no streaming to game consoles, no Red Zone Channel, and no access to DirecTV Fantasy Zone)

DirecTV’s contract for NFL Sunday Ticket package is up after this coming season. The future distribution of that package could have some bearing on the proposed merger between AT&T and DirecTV, as AT&T can walk away if DirecTV is unable to secure a renewal of the out-of-market NFL games package.