Sports Geekery

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Will NFL Sunday Ticket Come to PS3 Again in 2012?

Last year, NFL fans with PS3’s rejoiced when Sony announced that the NFL’s popular Sunday Ticket package would be available on the Playstation without subscribing to DirecTV.

UPDATE (8/29/2012): According to DirecTV’s Twitter feed, NFL Sunday Ticket for PS3 will be available beginning on 9/4/2012.

UPDATE (9/1/2012): We’ve got our answer. NFL Sunday Ticket will be returning to PS3 beginning on September 4th.

UPDATE (9/4/2012): If you have any questions about the PS3 or Online only version of NFL Sunday Ticket before ordering, call 1-800-670-7288. Don’t call the main DirecTV number to order service, they will just tell you that you can’t get service without a full DirecTV subscription. (Which isn’t true)

Since NFL Sunday Ticket’s arrival in the mid-1990’s, DirecTV had been the only way you could get Sunday Ticket. So for displaced fans who couldn’t otherwise watch their team at home an couldn’t get (or didn’t want) DirecTV, even the rather steep price of $340 for 17 Sundays of NFL football was worth it.

The initial reviews of NFL Sunday Ticket on PS3 in 2011 were lousy, but Sony appeared to get things straightened out fairly quickly and reviews later in the season were more positive. Subscribers were even offered a refund for the week 1 debacle.

I didn’t subscribe last year for a couple reasons. First, I don’t own a PS3. I would consider picking one up up, but that leads to the second issue. I felt the $340 for the Sunday Ticket was just too high. I’d be looking at nearly $600 bucks for Sunday Ticket for the first year if you take into account the price of a new PS3.

This year, I’m once again thinking about picking up a PS3 and subscribing. But will Sunday Ticket be available again this year on PS3? Or perhaps other internet connected devices?  Currently, there is no mention of PS3 availability on the DirecTV website. Sunday Ticket is advertised on the Playstation Network site, but clicking the links merely loops you back to the home page with no additional information available for 2012.

This discussion thread on the Playstation Network site indicates that users who have inquired to DirecTV about future availability have been met with a canned response:

“…we do not have any information as to when or if the NFL Sunday Ticket application will be available for download again…”

So, if NFL Sunday Ticket is going to be available via PS3 again this year, why wouldn’t DirecTV or Sony announce it by now? Wouldn’t they want to get the word out as soon as possible and begin a marketing campaign? If they are planning on offering the service on PS3 again in 2012, my guess would be that DirecTV wants to focus first on drawing as many subscribers as possible to their TV service. Only after they have maximized subscribers to the TV service will they offer it out to PS3 users. So, while it may seem less than encouraging that there is no word on NFL Sunday Ticket for PS3 yet in 2012, my guess (and it’s only a guess) is that we will get word somewhere near the end of August.

Also of note is that DirecTV has dropped the price of Sunday Ticket this season to $200 for the standard package and are offering a NFL Sunday Ticket Max product for $300, which includes Red Zone and access via mobile devices. Hopefully these prices will also apply to the PS3. Or, at least not be any more expensive.

A small part of my motivation to buy the Sunday Ticket through PS3 is my belief (Ok, hope) that, if the NFL sees heavy consumer demand to get these products on internet connected devices without being locked into a TV provider, it may convince them to dump the exclusivity deal with DirecTV and adopt a more consumer friendly model of universal access for all. I’m happy to pay the NFL a reasonable price for Sunday Ticket, I’m just not interested in locking myself into a TV provider just to get that one product.

So, am I the only lunatic who might buy a PS3 just to watch football? Would anyone else pick up a PS3 just to get the NFL Sunday Ticket? If so, some budget friendly options could be to try to pick up a used one on eBay or Craigslist. I’ve also considered buying a PS3, and if the service doesn’t overwhelm me, I’ll simply sell it after the season. Thus, I’m essentially just renting the device for the duration of the NFL season. If you can pick up one used and flip it 6 or 7 months later the value probably won’t drop too much in that time. Unless, Sony comes out with a newer device.

Hey, maybe we’ll get lucky and NFL Sunday Ticket will be offered on a variety of connected devices like the Roku and Apple TV. I’ve got to believe an awful lot of NFL fans would rush out and grab one of those devices to get NFL Sunday Ticket without the DirecTV commitment.

For a look at what NFL Sunday Ticket was like on PS3 last year, check the video below.

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  • I’m with you. I’m also contemplating on buying a PS3 just for Football. I’m as frustrated as you that we don’t know who, besides DirecTV, will offer NFL Sunday Ticket.

  • SA

    Terrific article, really good info, thanks for that. Add me to the list of contemplating a PS3 just for RedZone Channel. Living in Manhattan with Time Warner Cable and no access to FIOS, choices are limited. Truth be told I prefer catching the games at the local sports bar, but the homefront situation isn’t looking like making that the best option this upcoming season, so I’m desperate to get something.

  • Ashley

    I just spoke to someone at Direct TV, and she said the only way to get the Sunday Ticket this year is to actually have Direct TV. :(

    • sportsgeekery

      Thanks for the info Ashley. However, I’m not sure I’d trust what you’d hear from the customer service folks (if that’s who you spoke with). According to the NY Times breakdown of the last contract, DirecTV is supposed to offer an alternative at least for those who can’t have a dish at their home.

      You might be right, but I tend to think they are holding off an announcement until they’ve maximized their possible renewals and new subscribers to their TV package.

      • Ashley

        Maybe that’s the case. I told her I didn’t think there was any way that I would be able to get a signal in my apartment, but she kept pressing me to have someone come out to check. Maybe if I jump through that hoop, they will let me sign up. They say it doesn’t cost anything to have someone come out, so I’ll give it a shot and report back.

  • Mike

    I live in an apartment, face the wrong direction, and HOA rules would prohibit my installing a dish on the balcony anyway. I bought a PS3 earlier this summer just because I am planning on subscribing to Sunday Ticket too. So no, you won’t be the only lunatic to buy a PS3 only for football. That being said, in the interim I’ve used it to stream Netflix, as well as play Netflix Blu-Ray discs – it’s given me some usage while waiting for football to kick off. From looking at different blogs & comment boards, there seems to be a universal agreement that, as mentioned here, DirecTV is looking to maximize subscribers to their satellite service first before rolling out alternate options for Sunday Ticket (i.e., the PS3). Last year it wasn’t until August 17 that Sony & DirecTV announced the PS3 app, and I imagine that it will be the same again this year. One commenter on a random board I stumbled across stated that this year’s Sunday Ticket for the PS3 would be available on the first week of September, but there was no source for the claim. I’m just hoping that the cost will be the same as what is offered to DirecTV subscribers.

  • GoBucs!

    in our area Verizon wireless and Fios carriers can get RedZone

  • FYI last year you couldn’t subscribe to NFL Sunday ticket on PS3 until the Monday before the first week of the NFL season. I would imagine it is the same this year.

    Also here is a link to the report that the contract states DTV needs to give the availability of its Sunday ticket service to those who are not able to get sattellite by 2012.
    So we could be seeing an option for more than just PS3, but I would fully expect the PS3 version to return.

  • I also heard that directtv may offer a package streamed to your tablet or computer themselves. Some sort of NFL”on the go” option that would bypass the PS3 altogether.

    It has been confirmed a computer and ps3 version of sunday ticket will be available next week.

  • I just talked to a customer service rep from direct tv and he said that the only way you can get it in ps3 this year it’s to already be a direct tv customer. That is ridiculous. Why would you need it on ps3 if you had direct tv? This is another reason I will not have direct tv.

    • sportsgeekery

      I had a similar experience. I called the main number listed on the web site for ordering service and was told that by the rep that NFL Sunday Ticket was only available this season to DirecTV subscribers. (And this is on September 4th) When I told the rep that it was being advertised by Sony for the PS3, and as an online only option on DirecTV’s own website, she quickly put me on hold and told me I needed to speak to a supervisor.

      When the supervisor came on the line he tried to tell me the same thing – you can’t get Sunday Ticket without a DirecTV subscription. When I explained that I was looking at a page on the website telling me specifically that I could get Sunday Ticket without a DirecTV subscription, he asked if there was a phone number listed on that page. (There was) He then told me that I should call that number for more information. The number is 1-800-670-7288.

      When I called that number the rep who answered knew exactly what I was talking about and answered all my questions.

  • Autumn

    we had two xboxs for the reason we bought one last year with the kinect on black friday. So our second one was sitting around collecting dust. We traded it in at game stop and ended up paying only 157 for a ps3. My husband is a football fanatic and he desperatly wants to get NFL network. I told him he could, he is still unsure on spending the $300. I told him at least if he doesn’t, we have the ps3 now so when he does want to its all ready. I look at the $300 as you would pay that much for about what two tickets to one football game. More actually, especially if you count, parking, the drive, food and etc. So $300 to me is worth it because I don’t hear him complain about missing a game he really wants to see and i get to see him relax a little bit.

    • SeaHawks

      I just purchased mine….online through PS3, i didn’t talk to anyone at DirectTV…it just asked me if i’m a current subscriber or if i need to purchase NFL Sunday i did that, filled my store wallet w/ 299.95 and done and done. Easy, never had to talk to anyone.

  • Nicole Graner

    Is anyone else having trouble actually ordering through the PS3? I updated the APP on my PS3 from last year and when I go to the part to actually order it, I get a message saying there is nothing available to purchase at this time. What gives?

  • Nicole Graner

    Look under video. I think it shows up automatically there and not in the store.

    • Jeremy

      Still nothing under video. Do i need playstion plus or something or are they just slow on the roll out of the app?

  • Brendy

    I called customer service and they said it should be available by 5:00 PM Pacific time at the latest–that it isn’t ready to go yet. So–keep checking. I think we’re all having the same problem and getting the same error message.

    • Bix

      Just paid for it around 7pm EST.. all good to go!!!

  • Pauly

    How do you pay for it?