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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Don’t have Sunday Ticket? It’s your fault. Or is it?

Sometimes commercials raise issues that the brand either didn’t think about or if they did, hoped someone like me wouldn’t notice. What I’m talking about are the new spots running for DIRECTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket. There’s one with Denis Leary, Peyton Manning and LL “PHILIP RIVERS” Cool J.

The spots are in your face and bold, and, Leary’s machine gun cynical delivery having shown signs of wear and tear notwithstanding, my first reaction when I saw the spot though was F-you DIRECTV.

The gist of the message here is that as a cable subscriber, it’s your fault you don’t have Sunday Ticket because it’s the only way to watch any games. Talk about misleading.

The only one preventing access to Sunday Ticket is the NFL.

Cable has its issues when it comes to broadcasting rights *cough, cough Yankees games cough*, but this one’s on the NFL.

I’m not a big fan of the dish because the signal had issues in the rain and snow, but I’ve had Sunday Ticket and loved having access to every game. IT WAS FOOTBALL PORN. The new place though only offered cable, as installing a dish was not possible given the location.

Earlier this year, the NFL and DIRECTV even announced an extension of the current arrangement through 2014. Games will be available for non-DIRECTV subscribers (cable subscribers), no later than 2012—but only via broadband. Come again?

Watching CBS’ live stream of March Madness was one thing. At least the quality of the picture and audio were both really good. But watching a full NFL game on the computer is like watching it from the stadium parking lot.

Trust me, it sucked listening to it streaming on internet radio for two full seasons, let alone three hours sitting at a desk.

So what’s the logic? Why has the NFL created this apparent monopoly with DIRECTV. Because they can? If I had to Hail Mary something here (ouch), I’d guess the league would hate the idea of everyone being able to watch games on the system of their choice, because then they wouldn’t go to the actual games.

But then, they allow DirectTV access. If the league were worried about fans staying home, they wouldn’t have allowed a deal with the dish. (Besides, I’ve seen RVs at games with dishes on them. So much for that theory.)

It’s not a pay thing either. If I could get it on cable right now, I’d pay the same fee as I did with Direct, and I bet a ton of other people would too. (It’s currently $300 for five months.)

Seems like the league hasn’t caught up with how people want to see games though—and either doesn’t care, or is afraid of what will happen if it grants access across any media channel.

Sorry Denis, until things change, looks like I’m “that guy.”

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