Market research surveys have always sparked rumors to the release of new products and services, but I typically blow them off as pure speculation. The most recent market research by DirecTV in relation to the NFL Sunday Ticket has certainly spurred my interest, especially since I live in a city where my hometown football team is not regularly broadcast.
This survey from DirecTV was reported by Engadget indicating that their popular NFL Sunday Ticket programming may be coming to more venues. A tipster states that some of the survey questions were related to pricing for streaming content of the NFL Sunday Ticket to devices that are not currently supported, such as internet connected Blu-ray players, Apple TV, Roku, Boxee and various game consoles.
Let’s take a look at the potential pricing scheme for all forms of the NFL Sunday Ticket as was provided by the Engadget tipster:
Now, as a Sunday Ticket subscriber for the past twelve years this is a very intriguing development. Let me begin by saying that this will most definitely make the Apple TV a more useful device. I love the little Apple device, and use it constantly, but I can see the limitations when they slap me in the face. The more services added to Apple TV and other streaming devices, the more they will evolve and give cable and satellite services a run for their money.
The problem I see with all of this is the pricing strategy. DirecTV has been steadily increasing the subscription price for the NFL Sunday Ticket over the last twelve years, and now stands at $324 for the full season ($275 if you are an early bird renewal). The digital version of the ST for $250 is a $75 savings, but I would hardly drop my regular subscription to save $75. Not to mention I would be limited to view games on the television that has the streaming device attached to it, as opposed to watching on any television in the house. The NFL Redzone is useless by itself in my opinion unless you only like watching NFL action when teams enter the red zones. I wouldn’t pay anything for the red zone alone, let alone $100 for the season. The only portion of this pricing structure that makes any sense, is the ability to purchase individual weekends for $19.99 per weekend.
For example, I’m a Jets fan in California, so the NFL Sunday Ticket is essential for me. This year the Jets will be on national television or the regional game of the week in my area seven of sixteen weeks. If the weekly pricing was available, I could have had the option to purchase the nine remaining weeks for $180 as opposed to the early bird special renewal price of $275 for the entire season.
If NFL Sunday Ticket pricing is a bit more optimal for subscribers and the deals ironed out with streaming device manufacturers, it would benefit everyone involved. This can be a huge step in moving from subscription based television packages to a la carte programming.
What are your thoughts on the pricing and availability of the NFL Sunday Ticket on streaming devices? What other services would you like to see come to these streaming devices? Let me know in the comments below.