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View Full Version : NFL Sunday Ticket "tax" on HDTV viewers


TexanExile
06-20-2005, 09:23 PM
For those of you who have (or plan to get) NFL Sunday Ticket through DirecTV, beware of the rate hike this year before you get "auto-renewed!" I think we all expected it to go up a little, but if you happen to have HDTV they've figured out a way to seriously hammer you for even more--making it an over-$300 total price. OUCH!

Here's how they did it. Last year the Ticket included many games broadcast on HD as PART of the package. This year, they've taken the same number of HD games, split them off, repackaged them with weird "interactive" services that literally no existing DTV tuners can access, and are charging an extra $100 for them. Mind you, they added NO NEW HD games, and it's still only a few games each week, and blackout rules still apply.

The so-called "SuperFan add-on" is sparking a subscriber revolt among some DirecTV subscribers. If you're curious about the backlash, check out this site (http://www.nohdtax.com) for more info--it looks like the NFL's satellite monopoly did cave in a little and reduced the price for existing subscribers. Personally, I ain't biting...I'll stick to the "basic" package. The price is already high enough.

As a fan who pretty much can't watch the Texans without the DirecTV package, I'm a little trapped, if I want to see any Houston games at all down in the frequently blacked-out and Dolphin-dominated South Florida market. Too bad there's no competition between cable and satellite on the NFL season package. Especially considering Canadian satellite customers can get the whole package with HD for about half what DirecTV charges. I bet a little "free market" action would make this problem disappear. :pigfly:

Anyway, for those of you with HDTVs and the Ticket, gearing up for those Texans Sundays, hang onto your wallet--the renewal bills should start hitting soon! :bomb:

Lucky
06-20-2005, 10:38 PM
...Too bad there's no competition between cable and satellite on the NFL season package. Especially considering Canadian satellite customers can get the whole package with HD for about half what DirecTV charges...
Yeah, but the Canadian satellite customers have to live in Canada. See, there's always a downside.

I don't really know, but there may be additional costs for DTV to provide HDTV broadcasts. If so, shouldn't the HDTV subscribers foot that bill rather than sharing it with everyone? I'm sure DTV probably takes a bath on the entire NFL package, anyway. But they need exclusivity or they'll lose a good chunk of the hardcore NFL fans to Dish Network, Time Warner, etal.

Besides, think of all the things you pay for and never use (like that $500 computerizied exercise bike). Three Benjis for the NFL in HDTV is a sweet deal. And you probably can't find a Canadian that wouldn't swap locations and Sunday ticket prices.

kbourda
06-20-2005, 11:06 PM
I wasn't aware of that (but then again I don't have HD either, yet. ). That's messed up. And I believe they hit this pay cycle. I just paid my diectv bill and it wasn't on there.

kbourda
06-20-2005, 11:13 PM
I just signed the petition. Yes I get the Sunday Ticket. Do I have the HD equipment? No. I just hate to see people get screwed.

rittenhouserobz
06-21-2005, 06:59 AM
When they raised the price I decided to break it off, because I don't always utilize the Sunday ticket to its fullest. If it is ever offered on multiple carriers and has a more agreeable price, then maybe I will come back.

vtech9
06-21-2005, 07:12 AM
When they raised the price I decided to break it off, because I don't always utilize the Sunday ticket to its fullest. If it is ever offered on multiple carriers and has a more agreeable price, then maybe I will come back.
well, I have direcTV, but I don't have NFL Sunday Ticket, and won't ever get it as long as it stays that expensive. Instead, I just take my happy *** down to the local sports bar and watch the game with my brother and the fans of the opposing team (I think I have turned a few of them to the Texans). That way, we get away from the kids for awhile and still get to watch the game.

awtysst
06-21-2005, 01:01 PM
well, I have direcTV, but I don't have NFL Sunday Ticket, and won't ever get it as long as it stays that expensive. Instead, I just take my happy *** down to the local sports bar and watch the game with my brother and the fans of the opposing team (I think I have turned a few of them to the Texans). That way, we get away from the kids for awhile and still get to watch the game.


For me going to the sports bar is part of the appeal of Sunday morning. Sitting with people of opposing teams and having every game on is a plus for me. Plus with the popularity of Fantasy Football there is always plenty of people cheering on AJ!

JustBonee
06-21-2005, 07:27 PM
Grief! I remember getting it for $179, and thinking at the time, this is nice ... flicking thru all the games on Sunday, but darn is it expensive! Now $300 .. :confused: .. wonder how many "super fans" they will lose.

TexanExile
06-21-2005, 07:37 PM
Sound like good options for y'all, but not for a far-from-home guy in an AFC market. Sunday Ticket, for me, is cheaper than going to the local sports bar every week. (Lord knows the beer's cheaper!) Plus, the Texans usually play at the same time the Dolphins do (the early game), which means Houston games are always in some back corner on a smaller TV. Not worth the trip--or the tab.

As for the Canadian competition angle, there is such a thing as a "gray market" dish for Americans, but I won't get into that here. ;) Not sure it would work this far south anyway. Sadly, I doubt the NFL would split the American rights because it wouldn't be as valuable to the bidding provider(s) that way.

I don't buy the argument that it "costs more" for these guys to broadcast HD games. Maybe I would, if they were actually providing more games than last year, but they're now charging separately for the same HD service they included in the package before. Besides, EVERYTHING is required to be broadcast in HD within a couple of years--will they and/or other providers tack a 50% hike on their basic packages, then? Doubt it.

This is a move that, to me, is a lot like when airlines hammer their business passengers with targeted fare increases/restrictions. Business flyers sometimes are limited in their alternatives. With DirecTV, they know they have the Ticket customers over a barrel (especially if they invested in a provider-specific HD tuner), so why NOT bleed them a little more?

Even though I'll probably be getting an HDTV later this year, they can keep the pricey add-on pack. Too bad, but the $220 basic package is as far as I'll go. New subscribers get it for $240--or $340 in HD. Woo.

Oh, and Lucky....hilarious Canada blast there. I'm actually in Ontario for a few weeks right now. And after seeing a CFL preseason game here last week, I can PROMISE you any football fan'd swap with us. (But hey, I got to see the legendary Bjorn Nittmo again. And he missed the kick. Stunning.)

JustBonee
06-21-2005, 08:12 PM
A rumor I heard, if you believe everything you read on the internet....
some customers of Direc TV, who have gotten the Sunday Ticket for a few years, have called DirecTV to complain and cancel, and they are being told .....
'We will give you the Super Fan package for free this year to try out and see how you like it' ...
don't know how many people lucked out by trying that .. just something I read.
But like everything, if you don't pay now, you will probably pay later.

gcolby
06-21-2005, 09:36 PM
Geez, I remember signing up for NFL Sunday Ticket the first year they had it, and paid $129.

Sports bars are the way to go. I found a great group for Texans road games here in Austin at the end of the season, and I can't wait for '05 to start. I dropped Sunday Ticket after the '03 season when it hit $200 and I could not justify paying $200 for the 9 weekends of the year I wasn't at the game in Houston. I guess I'd rather help Unca Bob pay off his stadium than help Rupert Murdoch pay for his rocket launchers and satellites.

JDizzle
06-23-2005, 09:43 AM
I'm glad I root for the home team. I can't imagine forking over $350 for HD equipment, then another $300 for Sunday Ticket. Geez .....

KingRat
06-23-2005, 10:15 AM
...NFL Sunday Ticket, and it was in my house for two years, then they jacked up the price about $80. so I opted to invest my football money into shared season tickets in 2003. Sunday Ticket was fun while it lasted, but going to five games and tailgating was a lot better. Now there are two grandkids in my life and football will still be on TV every Sunday, but my remote control gets to rest, during commercials we throw the Nerf football .

Texans Pride
06-24-2005, 11:50 PM
For me, the Sunday Ticket is the only option. Being in Denver doesn't give me any options either. In three years, I've seen two games on Sunday Night, and maybe two broadcast over our local stations here.

We are actually buying our HDTV equipment this weekend. Do I want to pay an extra 100 dollars for the Super Fan package? Heck no! But will I, yes, because I want to see as many Texans games in HdTv......They've got me by the "you know whats."

JustBonee
06-25-2005, 08:23 AM
What others around the country are saying...
the following from a forum on TVs, here is a long thread (53 pages) devoted to Sunday Ticket.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=539378&page=1&pp=30