If you’ve been watching any sports for the past month—and if you’re a sports fan, you likely have, with baseball’s opening day, a month of March Madness leading into the Final Four and NCAA Men’s and Women’s basketball national title games, and the race for the playoffs in the NBA and NHL—you’ve probably seen a DISH Network ad in which the satellite TV service claims it carries all of the sports broadcasts available on its primary competitor DIRECTV. This is mostly true, but like previous misleading DISH Network ads—leading consumers to believe they could record or watch up to 5 programs of their choosing in prime time with their Hopper, instead of the pre-chosen primetime programming you can actually record—there is a catch.
The catch here is also DIRECTV’s major advantage over both DISH Network and other satellite and cable TV providers: DIRECTV is the exclusive carrier, at the moment, of NFL Sunday Ticket. For NFL fans living outside of their home markets, or who want to follow all of their fantasy players, NFL Sunday Ticket, with its coverage of every regular season NFL game, every Sunday, is an essential package. DISH Network claiming that they carry all of the same sports broadcasts as DIRECTV at a lesser price fully ignores one of the major reasons people subscribe to DIRECTV in the first place: and that is NFL Sunday Ticket.
In fact, where DIRECTV is not available in the United States, NFL Sunday Ticket is still available through DIRECTV, and not DISH:
For those who can’t get DirecTV satellite service, the company has three tiered offerings for its NFL Sunday Ticket.TV, from $200 to the $330 MAX bundle, with different combinations of device compatibility. Customers who purchase the NFL Sunday Ticket ‘Max’ season pass will also have access to the online/mobile service and be able to watch their games on computer, smartphone, tablet, or video game console. Max subscribers will also get a Game Mix channel with up to eight games on one screen and the ‘Short Cuts’ feature, which offers replays of each Sunday game in 30 commercial-free minutes.
Just a word to consumers: if you’re looking for NFL Sunday Ticket, don’t believe the ads. Don’t believe the hype.