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Thread: DirecTV cuts price of NFL Sunday Ticket

  1. #1
    Insider Jim Wilke's Avatar
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    DirecTV cuts price of NFL Sunday Ticket

    DirecTV (DTV), trying to broaden its audience, is cutting the price of its Sunday football package by about 40 percent for existing customers and offering it free to new customers for a year.

    The largest U.S. satellite-TV provider said today it is dropping the price for the NFL Sunday Ticket package, which gives users access to all regular season National Football League out-of-market broadcasts, to $199.95 from about $325. Customers that also want access to the games on mobile devices will pay $299.95.

    DirecTV has had the exclusive rights to out-of-market NFL games since 1994, one of its main assets against pay-TV rivals such as Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) and Dish Network Corp. (DISH) A promotion started last year that gave Sunday Ticket free to new customers for the season helped DirecTV add a net 327,000 U.S. subscribers in the third quarter -- the largest gain since 2009.

    “Everyone is convinced they are getting squeezed on margins on all sides, so lowering the price isn’t going to help,” said Todd Mitchell, an analyst at Brean Murray Carret & Co. in New York, who has a buy rating on the stock. “I think that’s why the stock dropped.”

    DirecTV, based in El Segundo, California, fell 1.6 percent to $47.95 at 4 p.m. New York time. The shares have gained 4 percent in the past year.

    DirecTV will again give Sunday Ticket at no extra charge to new subscribers for the season, although mobile access will now cost new customers $100.

    “Charging for digital rights is an experiment,” DirecTV Chief Executive Officer Mike White said in an interview this month. “There aren’t great models in how you get your price elasticities right there. We’re all learning what will the market bear in terms of digital rights.”

    Between 2 million and 3 million DirecTV customers subscribed to Sunday Ticket last year. The company has 19.9 million U.S. subscribers.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...ure-users.html

  2. #2
    Zoidy want balloon! Ren Butler's Avatar
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    I heard about this in advance over on dbstalk.com (great source for satellite info).

    This image from DirecTV covers the basics that the article leaves out:



    I don't really care about RedZone or mobile access, so I could probably do without MAX -- but I would really miss the Short Cuts! Hopefully there is still room for negotiation, such that perhaps I could get MAX at the non-MAX price (saving $100).
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    Insider Jim Wilke's Avatar
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    I thought the price cut was a really nice deal .... until I noticed DTV had taken out Red Zone. That's a big deal for me since 'my team' typically plays the late game, starts at noon for me. I like to turn on the TV around 11 and watch all the early games finish on Red Zone and then switch to the Seahawks.

    One other note: Mobile phone or iPad access will not work outside the US, have to use a SlingBox for that.

  4. #4
    Professor Fatbot
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    I think Sunday Ticket is $30.44 a month here September to January plus a one time payment of $24.87 for Red Zone, and you can bundle it with NHL Centre Ice for $263.52. Basically, it's the price of Centre Ice with one extra month charged on for the beginning of the NFL season and $20 "bundling fee."

    I am thinking I might hit up that combo for next year. In Canada, we get stuck with basically the NBC prime time games, NFL Network games, the Seahawks, Bills and Lions, plus MNF. When you want to watch Packers games, it means you might see two a year without Sunday Ticket.
    "I kill for the code to disarm this mess..."

  5. #5
    Wake me up when they don't require ruthless contracts that f-you when they get into a dispute with a channel that I absolutely require. Never, ever, ever again.

  6. #6
    Zoidy want balloon! Ren Butler's Avatar
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    In my 15 years with DTV, I've lost only a handful of channels for a handful of days (that was the Tribune dispute earlier this month).

    From what I've read elsewhere, carriage disputes affect just about every provider at one time or another.

  7. #7
    Sunday ticket was way overpriced. With all of the games NFL network was starting to show, the value was going down.

  8. #8
    1of6 IndyMichael's Avatar
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    Wonder how many times I can see Peyton play, without ST? I'm a Colt's fan first, but still a big Manning fan.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Butler View Post
    In my 15 years with DTV, I've lost only a handful of channels for a handful of days (that was the Tribune dispute earlier this month).

    From what I've read elsewhere, carriage disputes affect just about every provider at one time or another.
    I'm referring to the Versus dispute mid-season of the IndyCar schedule. No one has ever been more rude and insulting to me than "Jay", the accounts retention manager, after he realized that having the channel was not an option and he wasn't going to be able to offer me enough incentive to stay. If he would have waived the $60 buyout I had left to get out of my contract, I would have re-signed with DirecTV immediately once the dispute was resolved. He laughed at me for suggesting such a thing and the $60 has cost them a customer for the rest of my life.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by IndyMichael View Post
    Wonder how many times I can see Peyton play, without ST? I'm a Colt's fan first, but still a big Manning fan.
    The Broncos only have one 1:00 game. You'll probably be able to watch 15 of their games locally without Sunday Ticket.

  11. #11
    Zoidy want balloon! Ren Butler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndyMichael View Post
    Wonder how many times I can see Peyton play, without ST? I'm a Colt's fan first, but still a big Manning fan.
    I posted this analysis of the Broncos' TV schedule in the Offseason thread. The analysis isn't based on guesses but actually on looking at the full slate of games and adjusting for the broadcast rules. Three games later in the season would definitely NOT be shown in Indy, assuming no flex-schedule changes:

    1. Sun., Sept. 9 ... PITTSBURGH .. 8:20 p.m. ... NBC (available in Indy)
    2. Mon. Sept. 17 ... at Atlanta ... 8:30 p.m. ... ESPN (available in Indy)

    3. Sun. Sept. 23 ... HOUSTON ... 4:15 p.m. ... CBS (likely in Indy)
    4. Sun. Sept. 30 ... OAKLAND ... 4:05 p.m. ... CBS (possible in Indy)
    5. Sun. Oct. 7 ... at New England ... 4:15 p.m. ... CBS (likely in Indy)
    6. Mon. Oct. 15 ... at San Diego ... 8:30 p.m. ... ESPN (available in Indy)
    7 BYE
    8. Sun. Oct. 28 ... NEW ORLEANS ... 8:20 p.m. ... NBC (available in Indy)

    9. Sun. Nov. 4 ... at Cincinnati ... 1 p.m. ... CBS (not available in Indy)
    10. Sun. Nov. 11 ... at Carolina ... 1 p.m. ... CBS (possible in Indy)
    11. Sun. Nov. 18 ... SAN DIEGO ... 4:15 p.m. ... CBS (likely in Indy)
    12. Sun. Nov. 25 ... at Kansas City ... 1 p.m. ... CBS (not available in Indy)
    13. Sun. Dec. 2 ... TAMPA BAY ... 4:05 p.m. ... FOX (likely in Indy)
    14. Thu. Dec. 6 ... at Oakland ... 8:20 p.m. ... NFLN (available in Indy)
    15. Sun. Dec. 16 ... at Baltimore ... 1 p.m. ... CBS (not available in Indy)
    16. Sun. Dec. 23 ... CLEVELAND ... 4:05 p.m. ... CBS (likely in Indy)
    17. Sun. Dec. 30 ... KANSAS CITY ... 4:15 p.m. ... CBS (possible in Indy)

    (predictions assume no flex scheduling)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gomer Simpson View Post
    I'm referring to the Versus dispute mid-season of the IndyCar schedule. No one has ever been more rude and insulting to me than "Jay", the accounts retention manager, after he realized that having the channel was not an option and he wasn't going to be able to offer me enough incentive to stay. If he would have waived the $60 buyout I had left to get out of my contract, I would have re-signed with DirecTV immediately once the dispute was resolved. He laughed at me for suggesting such a thing and the $60 has cost them a customer for the rest of my life.
    I had a number of phone conversations and email exchanges with DTV reps during the Versus dispute and was literally within hours (well, 24 perhaps) of changing services when the settlement was reached. I was never treated with anything but courtesy and, perhaps feigned, understanding. In fact, I was treated a damn sight more politely than I treated them.

    With the exception of the Versus kerfuffle and the fact that my DVRs (as someone else has pointed out as well) seem to die just about the time I've got 20 movies or so saved up to watch, I've been very happy with both the service and the treatment I've received from DTV.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Wilke View Post
    I thought the price cut was a really nice deal .... until I noticed DTV had taken out Red Zone. .
    Totally agree. Huge deal for me. I already get every single Bears game. The Redzone channel is more important to me than having all of the other games combined. I'd gladly pay 100.00 for just the redzone. Of course, they don't offer that option.

  14. #14
    Zoidy want balloon! Ren Butler's Avatar
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    It's likely that the MAX deal will be available at the standard price for those who are in good standing and who haven't maxed out on their credits. Reduced-price or free Sunday Ticket has been available for many years to many who have simply asked.

    I'm going to ask for a free upgrade to MAX just so I can get the Short Cuts (I have no interest in RZ).

  15. #15
    Insider Truth Detector's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I've ever watched the red zone channel.
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    Insider beej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Butler View Post
    It's likely that the MAX deal will be available at the standard price for those who are in good standing and who haven't maxed out on their credits. Reduced-price or free Sunday Ticket has been available for many years to many who have simply asked.

    I'm going to ask for a free upgrade to MAX just so I can get the Short Cuts (I have no interest in RZ).
    Agreed, I have not paid full price for the NFL Sundat ticket in several years... I do not watch the RedZone much, but I will ask for the best deal possible, even with the discounted ST
    "My favorite time of the day at the Speedway during the month of May was just after dusk, after the track had closed down for day, I used to go out and sit on the pit wall and just listen and think"~ Dick Ralstin

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    Insider Jim Wilke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truth Detector View Post
    I'm not sure I've ever watched the red zone channel.

    That's because you live in the Eastern/Central Time Zone -- like 70% of the country. By the end of the early games, 3/4 of the teams have played and you're done with football unless you watch the late game. West Coast fans like me watch the Red Zone while we are waiting for our games to start.

  18. #18
    Zoidy want balloon! Ren Butler's Avatar
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    That's not why I avoid RZC.

    I like to pick which game(s) I want to watch, and I like to watch more than just scoring and red-zone plays.

    I hate the idea of leaving my viewing decisions up to a producer. I'd much rather watch Gamemix and then turn to the game that interests me at the moment.

    Frankly, I think RZC is a symptom of an unfortunate evolution of sports, where scoring and fantasy stats are elevated above the chess match.

  19. #19
    Insider Truth Detector's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Butler View Post
    That's not why I avoid RZC.

    I like to pick which game(s) I want to watch, and I like to watch more than just scoring and red-zone plays.

    I hate the idea of leaving my viewing decisions up to a producer. I'd much rather watch Gamemix and then turn to the game that interests me at the moment.

    Frankly, I think RZC is a symptom of an unfortunate evolution of sports, where scoring and fantasy stats are elevated above the chess match.


    This probably describes me better but I'm sure Wilke's point has merit.

  20. #20
    RZC shows quite a bit more than scoring and red zone plays. My last year of having DTV, I had it on RZC most of the time, and its availability for $5/mo on UVerse was one of the major reasons for my switch (plus DTV losing Versus for while). Of course, with Manning now in Denver, I'm going to miss the Ticket!

    I was thinking about looking into getting the Ticket on my Playstation 3, but Ren's handy research shows that I might only miss a handful of Bronco games, I won't be able to justify that with high command, er, I mean mrs. jkg.

  21. #21
    Insider BADGER's Avatar
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    Red zone channel is ideal for those who play fantasy football and care more about the stats then the intricacies of some other teams games. You think I care how Oakland does if McFadden isn't on my ff team?

  22. #22
    Love redzone channel, especially at the end of games when thre are four good ones going on. As a colt fan in KC, I will finally get a lot value on nfl Sunday ticket since colts will be on prime time just once. I'll call directv and complain about the price and hopefully get it reduced....regardless I will still get it. I love it.
    "Any time that I can be out at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, you're going to see a smile on my face." - Dan Wheldon

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doyouloveit? View Post
    Love redzone channel, especially at the end of games when thre are four good ones going on.

    That's when I like watching the channel with the channel with 8 games on at one time.

  24. #24
    Insider Jim Wilke's Avatar
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    I can't follow 8 games at once - occasionally, GameMix has only 4 games sharing the sceen and that works. If i could select the 4 games to watch and only have 4 at a time, that would be pretty cool. I've heard that DTV is working on this.

  25. #25
    Curse you darkness! crispy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Butler View Post
    I posted this analysis of the Broncos' TV schedule in the Offseason thread. The analysis isn't based on guesses but actually on looking at the full slate of games and adjusting for the broadcast rules. Three games later in the season would definitely NOT be shown in Indy, assuming no flex-schedule changes:

    1. Sun., Sept. 9 ... PITTSBURGH .. 8:20 p.m. ... NBC (available in Indy)
    2. Mon. Sept. 17 ... at Atlanta ... 8:30 p.m. ... ESPN (available in Indy)

    3. Sun. Sept. 23 ... HOUSTON ... 4:15 p.m. ... CBS (likely in Indy)
    4. Sun. Sept. 30 ... OAKLAND ... 4:05 p.m. ... CBS (possible in Indy)
    5. Sun. Oct. 7 ... at New England ... 4:15 p.m. ... CBS (likely in Indy)
    6. Mon. Oct. 15 ... at San Diego ... 8:30 p.m. ... ESPN (available in Indy)
    7 BYE
    8. Sun. Oct. 28 ... NEW ORLEANS ... 8:20 p.m. ... NBC (available in Indy)

    9. Sun. Nov. 4 ... at Cincinnati ... 1 p.m. ... CBS (not available in Indy)
    10. Sun. Nov. 11 ... at Carolina ... 1 p.m. ... CBS (possible in Indy)
    11. Sun. Nov. 18 ... SAN DIEGO ... 4:15 p.m. ... CBS (likely in Indy)
    12. Sun. Nov. 25 ... at Kansas City ... 1 p.m. ... CBS (not available in Indy)
    13. Sun. Dec. 2 ... TAMPA BAY ... 4:05 p.m. ... FOX (likely in Indy)
    14. Thu. Dec. 6 ... at Oakland ... 8:20 p.m. ... NFLN (available in Indy)
    15. Sun. Dec. 16 ... at Baltimore ... 1 p.m. ... CBS (not available in Indy)
    16. Sun. Dec. 23 ... CLEVELAND ... 4:05 p.m. ... CBS (likely in Indy)
    17. Sun. Dec. 30 ... KANSAS CITY ... 4:15 p.m. ... CBS (possible in Indy)

    (predictions assume no flex scheduling)
    You've got three weekends in a row (3,4,5) there where you show it being possible. CBS can't have the doubleheader all three weeks.

  26. #26
    Zoidy want balloon! Ren Butler's Avatar
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    The Colts don't play in CBS's single-header week 4, so there is no local conflict that would prevent the NFL from sending OAK@DEN into Indy (leaving the 1:00 slot empty on WISH) if it is determined that it is the most attractive game for our market.

    Granted, there are limits to the percentage of the population that can receive 4:05 games, in order to protect the primary 4:15 game (NO@GB on FOX, in the case of week 4). Depending on the distribution of the rest of the games, it might not be possible to get the Broncos on WISH-TV that weekend. And considering that there are three 4:05 games that week, that could very well prevent any extended distribution into Indy. But it's too early to tell, which is why I'm listing it as merely "possible."

    I would consider TEN@HOU the most likely WISH game that week.

  27. #27
    Curse you darkness! crispy's Avatar
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    I would like to hear from the head of WISH Sports programming. I would bet that Denver games are going to be on whenever possible. Ten@Hou matters little to Indy people when the Colts aren't going anywhere.

  28. #28
    Zoidy want balloon! Ren Butler's Avatar
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    Local affiliates can request certain games week-to-week, but CBS and FOX have the final say in distribution, within the rules agreed to with the NFL.

    Trust me, if they can shoe-horn another 1% of the population into the 4:05 game, the Indy market will probably get the Broncos game that week. But Oakland (SF Bay), Denver, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Miami, Phoenix (and the peripheral and natural markets of the teams that play in those cities) will already be getting 4:05 games on CBS by default. There might not be any additional room to add us without violating FOX's right to a semi-exclusive 4:15 window.

    Of course, many of us will get Denver anyway on DirecTV...
    Last edited by Ren Butler; 04-29-2012 at 10:24 AM.

  29. #29
    I love DTV and love that they have the ST. The only thing I don't like is that they don't offer the Red Zone Channel as a stand alone. As I said earlier, I'd gladly pay 100 bucks for it. No way I'm paying 299.95 for it though. So I'm gonna have to call in and hope they are willing to deal with me. I'm only 1 year into a 2 year contract so I can't use the old "I'm gonna leave if you don't deal with me" ploy that I've used several times in the past. Remember, I live in the Bears market so getting their games is not a concern. And I don't even watch the RedZone channel during the Bears game unless it's half time. I don't miss a single play for Da Bears. But during the 2nd time slot I only watch Redzone.

  30. #30
    Just got off the phone with them and as I have no leverage(they know I am not leaving with 1 year left on my contract) they are not gonna knock anything off of the price. So if I want RedZone it's 299. Ah well. Guess I'll go 1 year without it and they will regret it when my 1 year is up. LOL

    edit - So I called back and asked how much it would cost to cancel my contract at about the time the season starts and the cost isn't that bad. I would easily still save money if I switched to Dish and only got the RedZone channel. So when that time comes I will call them back and I will see how badly they want to keep me as a customer.
    Last edited by JSR; 04-29-2012 at 03:03 PM.

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