The anti-American anthem protests were a blot on the NFL franchise.
The league lost chunks of money from decreased viewership and ad revenue.
Now the premier NFL exhibitor just made a move that could damage the league even more.
DirecTV, the company with exclusive rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket (which allows fans to watch all out-of-market games), announced a steep price hike for the Sunday Ticket package.
As expected, fans were not happy about the ever-increasing rate for the service.
Never let a little thing like declining ratings, a product in decline, and national public backlash, get in the way of making a buck. At least, that seems to be the message DirecTV is sending after the company raised prices for the NFL Sunday Ticket.
Despite a ten percent drop in overall ratings last year, DirecTV announced that it will raise prices for Sunday Ticket to $293.84 for the 2018 season — up from the $281.94 they charged last year. For the Sunday Ticket Max, a package which includes NFL Red Zone and Fantasy Zone channels, the price is now a whopping $395.94.
Nor are fans pleased by the decreasing level of exclusivity the Sunday Ticket package provides:
Someone at @DIRECTV explain to me why cost for the #SundayTicket continues to rise while my exclusivity to games decreases?? I’m seeing less games because TNF/London games but paying more $$? Ridiculous! May as well cancel…
Some were upset by the fact that DirecTV offers large discounts to new customers, while gouging longtime, loyal customers:
F*** you @DIRECTV…I’ve had Sunday Ticket since it started and it gerts getting more and more expensive while new subscribers get huge discounts. As a long time customer I have yet to see anything as a thank you for just being loyal. https://t.co/Xclu45R3eB
@DIRECTV Canceled https://t.co/A6xmKXwHoh
According to USA Today Sports, “DirecTV’s deal with the NFL is worth $1.5 billion a year and runs through the 2022 season. But fans have easier access to NFL games with online streams. Unlike the NBA, the NFL doesn’t offer a team-specific Sunday Ticket package at a reduced price.”
It looks like DirecTV is going to be trying to pay that bill with a whole lot fewer customers.
The price increase comes at the absolute worst time for the NFL, which is in the process of trying to win back fans disgusted by the politics and moral preening of privileged athletes.
If the price is too steep, the only winners in this ordeal will be the bars and restaurants that get extra traffic.