DirecTV subscribers looking to get all of the NFL action each season have a few choices. The most common selection is NFL Sunday Ticket, which gives them access to all out-of-market NFL regular-season games every Sunday. That package sells for 293.94 per season. However, if subscribers want to splurge and spend $395.94 per season, they can get NFL Sunday Ticket Max, which includes everything from the regular package, plus Red Zone Channel, DirecTV Fantasy Zone, and allows them to stream games on their computer, tablet, phone or game console.
Some subscribers who stuck with the original package have started receiving an email from DirecTV letting them know that they’ll be getting NFL Sunday Ticket Max for free.
Some DirecTV subscribers have been told they will get NFL Sunday Ticket Max for free during the 2021 season. It's not clear how many customers this is or the requirements, but interesting to see if being given away. @NFL @DIRECTV https://t.co/gBlTGBRSZl
— Dan Rayburn (@DanRayburn) August 6, 2021
The Streamable spoke with DirecTV, who confirmed that they are giving complimentary NFL Sunday Ticket subscriptions to select customers, though they did not clarify how those customers were selected. Presumably, this offer isn’t going to newer subscribers, who can also get NFL Sunday Ticket for free now on most plans.
Per The Streamable, here’s what the email says:
Grab your face paint. The 2021 season of NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX is Yours.
We know you love football, and to us – football is life. That’s why DIRECTV will celebrate this season of NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX by giving it to you, our loyal fans – at no cost
No catch. No fine print. Zilch. Nada
Here’s some of what you’ll get:
– Every, live out-of-market game – every Sunday afternoon
– The RED ZONE CHANNEL, DIRECTV FANTASY ZONE, and NFL SUNDAY TICKET app
Your 2021 season of NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX kicks off September 12th
This isn’t the first time DirecTV has extended this offer. Per The TV Answer Man, they made the same push last year as well. At the time, the presumption was that it was a way for the service to hold onto older subscribers who had been paying for a package that was now coming free for newer subscribers.
Of course, there’s also the fact that DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket is not long for this world. Now that AT&T has officially spun DirecTV off, once again making the satellite television provider a standalone company, one of the first things to go is the deal with the NFL. The package has never been a moneymaker for the service and has effectively acted as a loss leader in order to generate revenue that hasn’t materialized.
New CEO Bill Morrow told the LA Times that the arrangement is almost certainly coming to an end next year.
“The NFL Sunday Ticket was a great idea when it first started,” Morrow said. “But then the NFL began spreading games across various days of the week and giving the rights to other distributors.”
In recent years, DirecTV has been losing tens of millions of dollars a year on its partnership with the NFL, and it can no longer stomach the losses. In addition, the NFL has grown more interested in experimenting with streaming partners and granted a partnership with Amazon.
Morrow said DirecTV was “not interested in any way, shape, or form” in extending the current arrangement with the NFL beyond the 2022 season.
Also noted in that article was that AT&T is covering all losses related to the NFL deal. So if you’re enjoying free Sunday Ticket as a new subscriber or enjoying free Sunday Ticket Max as an older subscriber, enjoy it while you can. Things will change sooner enough, either with the Sunday Ticket package moving elsewhere or the exclusivity of the package opening up. Either way, AT&T probably doesn’t want to cover these losses for much longer.