To purchase Sunday Ticket, you must still be either a DirecTV subscriber, or — if you don’t subscribe to the satellite TV service — you may be eligible to get the streaming version of the service if you live in “select areas within various metropolitan cities,” if you can’t get satellite TV, or if you’re a college student.
A report Friday on blog site TVAnswerMan.com noted that the streaming version of Sunday Ticket is available in 29 U.S. markets to non-DirecTV subscribers. According to AT&T, this isn’t new (and the package is available only in some areas of those markets).
“The eligibility requirements [for NFL Sunday Ticket] have remained the same for the last five years,” AT&T AVP of corporate communications Jim Greer said.
An NFL rep confirmed that the terms of the Sunday Ticket distribution have not changed since 2016, with the exception of the 2018 “test” AT&T did in offering the package to DirecTV Now subscribers in seven markets.
AT&T insists nothing has changed in where and how it offers the nflsundayticket.tv streaming service to non-DirecTV subscribers. But if that’s true, then the company over the last few years has been quietly offering the online-only version of Sunday Ticket more widely than previously believed. It seems clear that AT&T wouldn’t want to promote the fact that you can subscribe to the pricey Sunday Ticket package without also needing to pay for DirecTV — because the company would prefer consumers buy the pay-TV bundle as well.
Last year, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league wanted to expand the distribution of Sunday Ticket to online platforms in addition to DirecTV, which would have ended the satcaster’s exclusive rights on the out-of-market games package. But that hasn’t happened.
According to AT&T’s website, nflsundayticket.tv “is only available to non-DirecTV customers who live in select multi-dwelling unit buildings (apartments, condos, etc.,) nationwide in the U.S. where DirecTV service is not available, live in select areas within various metropolitan cities, live in a residence that has been verified as unable to receive DirecTV satellite TV service due to obstructions blocking access to satellite signals, or are college students.”
DirecTV has offered nflsundayticket.tv with those same restrictions since 2016. Back in 2014, it made the streaming service available to non-DirecTV users in three metro areas — New York, San Francisco, and Philadelphia — in addition to consumers who couldn’t receive satellite TV, and has since broadened that to parts of more than two dozen markets. DirecTV first started selling Sunday Ticket consumers who did not subscribe to DirecTV in 2010.
Sunday Ticket first launched in 1994 on DirecTV, and in the U.S. it’s the only place to (legally) watch all of the NFL’s regular-season Sunday daytime matchups.
DirecTV is offering a special promo to new subscribers, giving them NFL Sunday Ticket Max — which includes the Red Zone Channel showing every scoring drive as well as the DirecTV Fantasy Zone Channel — for no additional cost, if they sign a two-year contract and buy a Choice package or higher. Otherwise, the base 2020 NFL Sunday Ticket costs $293.94 and the Sunday Ticket Max tier is $395.94 (to both DirecTV and non-DirecTV customers).
The 2020 NFL regular season is set to kick off Sept. 10 with the Thursday Night Football matchup between the Texans and Chiefs, which will air on NBC.