1) Sunday Ticket
The NFL Sunday Ticket allows viewers to pay $269 dollars a year to watch any and every game played all season, along with a few other bonus channels of coverage. A wonderful package with a catch, you need to be able to subscribe to the satellite cable service Direct TV to use it. Problem is, millions of fans cannot subscribe to Direct TV because they do not own their own homes, dont have a clear view of the south western sky or have some other obstruction preventing them from having a dish on their residence. In fact, only there are only 16 million Direct TV subscribers, a far cry from the amount of people with cable television. The NFL could allow cable companies to have this package as well, but instead has extended their exclusive contract with direct tv until 2010 for around $700 million. All of this leaves us fans who cannot get a dish and/or are unwilling to subscribe to satellite television out in the cold…or at our local sports bar.
2) NFL Network
The NFL Network was started in 2003 as a cable channel run by the NFL giving fans 24-7 NFL coverage. Starting in 2006, live football games starting being broadcast on the channel. These games would have otherwise been broadcast on free television or basic cable, but now is part of the NFL Network which is not always available to fans. Fans with Time Warner Cable do not have this channel on their lineup because the NFL wanted it to be placed on their basic cable tier and were charging $0.70 a subscriber for it. TWC wanted it on their sports tier and hasn’t placed it on any tier yet. Comcast Cable used to have the NFL Network on their extended tier, but now has moved it to their sports tier and they are charging an additional $5 – 7.95 a month for the right to watch NFL games. Both cable companies are still steaming from not having the NFL Sunday ticket and are using the NFL Network as punishment and leverage for the next bidding war for the right to the NFL Sunday Ticket. In the end…the fans cannot watch games they used to be able to watch and no one in the NFL cares.
3) Online Video Content
The NBA has it’s own YouTube channel, MLB broadcasts every game online for a fee, NHL broadcasts every game to Comcast subscribers and will allow Slingbox users to share clips online…and the NFL? The NFL now restricts online footage of it’s events to 45 seconds A DAY. Total. Those 45 seconds also must be erased from the internet after 24 hours. No game footage will be allowed on any other website besides NFL.com. If you wish to stream live games online, you must be a DirecTV subscriber with an additional $99 ($368 for the total package) to spare. Essentially, the NFL does not want you, the average Joe Sportsfan, to watch anything related to the NFL online anywhere.
4) Pre-season games
Pre-season games are exhibition games. If a fan is lucky, that fan might get to see the starting rosters for his/her favorite team for about two quarters of a four quarter game. The game in itself is meaningless, just a barometer of how practice is going and a try-out session for players hoping to latch on to the team before final roster cuts. The price for the fan to go see these games? Full regular season ticket price. You see half as much legitimate NFL action for full price. The tickets are the full price, the food is the full price, the beer is the full price, it is, for all intents and purposes, a regular season game for the fan…except you spend half the game watching players who will never play in the regular season for an NFL team. Just another way for the NFL to milk even more money from their fans.
The NFL denies fans who live in a 75 mile radius of an NFL stadium the ability to watch a live home game on television if that game is not sold out 72 hours before the start of the game. The NFL says this is because fans of winning teams go to games and fans of losing teams don’t and they want people to go to their games. This does not take into consideration fans who cannot get to the games that want to follow their home team. Think some 10 year old kid or an 85 year old grandma on welfare would like to go to the game but can’t and would still like to watch the game? Its not their fault they don’t have the ability to purchase a ticket or drive to the game, but the NFL will still prevent them, as punishment for not purchasing their tickets. The NFL hates the elderly and young alike.
Do you have any other reasons?