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If you’re a football fan, you may want to order NFL SUNDAY TICKET for the upcoming season. If you’re a new DIRECTV customer you can sign up for a package that includes NFL SUNDAY TICKET at no extra charge. But if you’re an existing customer, you’ll have to pay full price. This leaves you caught in the conundrum of figuring out if the premier NFL package is really worth the money. If this is you, don’t worry. We checked out the numbers to help you make an informed decision.

Definitely Worth It If…

Your Favorite Team Is Out of Market and Not Very Good

If you’re a fan of an NFL team from a city outside your TV market and want to make sure you can see that team’s games, NFL SUNDAY TICKET is the only way to ensure you’ll get access to those games on your TV. This feature is the leading source of the package’s value.

Keep in mind, if you’re ordering the package to see all your favorite team’s games, at most, that would be sixteen games. But you can’t just pay for the sixteen games that you want—you have to buy the full package, which consists of about 147 games.

You’re Obsessed with Fantasy Football

If you’re the type of Fantasy Football player who wants to see all your players’ games every week, you’ll love NFL SUNDAY TICKET. Plus, it includes cool features like the Player Tracker, which lets you monitor your Fantasy team’s stats in real time. You can also take advantage of the Game Mix feature that lets you watch up to eight games at once on split screen. This is particularly helpful when you have multiple players on your Fantasy team all playing in different games at the same time.

Maybe Worth It If…

Your Favorite Team Is Out of Market and Good

Like we said, the value of NFL SUNDAY TICKET seems to be highest when it’s the only way to watch your team. This is often the case when your team is bad, but when your team is good, you’ll have a better chance of seeing them without NFL SUNDAY TICKET.

Nationally televised games are selected based on potential interest. During the first half of the season, that potential interest is based on projections from the previous season. But during the second half of the season, many nationally broadcast games are on a flex schedule. This means that a game featuring two unexpectedly good teams can be moved to the prime-time national slot to replace a game that may feature two unexpectedly poor teams.

With the help of flex scheduling, good teams get more games on free or regular cable TV packages. This makes NFL SUNDAY TICKET less valuable for fans of those teams.

Probably Not Worth It If…

You Live in the Same Market as Your Favorite Team

If you live in the same market as your favorite team, you’ll probably see that team enough on the free broadcasts. NFL SUNDAY TICKET likely wouldn’t add much to your NFL viewing habits and wouldn’t be worth the cost.

You’re a Casual NFL Fan with Limited Time

For football fans without a favorite team, ordering NFL SUNDAY TICKET is probably overkill. Each week you can get four or five games for free, plus another one or two if you have a mid-level cable package. So unless you plan on watching six or more NFL games every week, you can probably get your NFL fix without spending the extra cash on NFL SUNDAY TICKET.

The Breakdown

Free Game Broadcasts

The NFL regular season schedule consists of 256 games spread across seventeen weeks. Most weeks, five of those games are broadcast on network television. That’s five games a week for free if you have an antenna. Week three you’ll only get four free games, but in week twelve you can get seven because of the Thanksgiving games.

The drawback to these free games is that you don’t have any control over which games you get. The Thursday night and Sunday night games are national broadcasts. The Sunday afternoon games are usually broadcast regionally based on the teams from cities closest to your TV market. For example, someone living in San Antonio, Texas, is more likely to receive broadcasts of games featuring the Houston Texans or the Dallas Cowboys than games featuring the Seattle Seahawks or the New England Patriots.

Total Free Game Broadcasts

84 (32.8%)

Games Broadcast on Cable

If you have a cable subscription with ESPN and NFL Network, you’ll get an additional twenty-four nationally broadcast games (one or two each week). These types of TV packages start at about $70 per month, but they include hundreds of channels—not just a few NFL games.

Total Cable Game Broadcasts

24 (9.3%)

(Excluding those available with just an antenna)


At full price, NFL SUNDAY TICKET costs $281.94 per year. It delivers a potential 147 games that you couldn’t watch on TV without it. That works out to about $1.92 per game and seems like a great deal if you have the time to watch a lot of football or if you have a specific game you feel you can’t miss. Keep in mind that most local games will be blacked out on NFL SUNDAY TICKET, but you may be able to see them on the regular, over-the-air broadcasts on CBS or FOX.


About 147 (57.4%)

(This may vary by location based on blackout restrictions.)

Streaming NFL Football

The broadcast numbers above account for 255 of the 256 games. The final game will be available only through streaming. Verizon paid the NFL $21 million for exclusive rights to stream the September 24 game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

That game will be played in London and will not be broadcast nationally in the United States. It will be available in Baltimore and Jacksonville via local broadcasts. The live stream will be available to Verizon Wireless customers on the NFL Mobile app. You can also watch it using the NFL app on Xbox One and Windows 10.

Every NFL game in the 2017–2018 season can be streamed live. You can stream ten games this season free on Twitter, but access to most game streams will require a paid subscription of some sort. Find more details on streaming NFL games in these articles: 7 Ways to Stream Football Games This NFL Season and NFL Games Are Going Online, But Here’s the Catch.

One Last Thing to Consider

Many games available on NFL SUNDAY TICKET are played simultaneously. While this can be fun for tracking multiple players, the reality is that it also means you won’t physically be able to take in everything you’re paying for. Even if you use the Game Mix feature to view multiple games at once, people can’t truly focus on more than one thing at a time. This may put a small dent in the value of the package, but hardcore fans will love having access to more football than they can possibly watch.

So, you want NFL SUNDAY TICKET? See which plan works best for your NFL viewing needs:

Compare DIRECTV Packages

About the Author

John Dilley is an endless source of new ideas. With a background in both sports and music, he offers a unique perspective. He has written for The Daily Utah Chronicle, Filler, and has contributed content to several commercial websites.

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