When YouTube was named as the NFL’s new partner for Sunday Ticket, there was some optimism about potential changes in the service. Specifically, fans were excited about the prospect of buying a single team package of games.
Well, that probably won’t be happening, but cheaper options might be on the table. This news comes from Brian Rolapp, the NFL’s Chief Media & Business Officer, who was on the Marchand & Ourand Sports Media Podcast this week.
“We’re also thinking about, which we haven’t made any decisions, do you create a new product? Do you do a lighter version? We haven’t made any decisions there, but you could see that.”
Marchand then asks about single-team packages, which Rolapp mostly shoots down.
“I don’t know if we’ll go team by team, but could you get fewer games for a lesser price? I think that’s all up for debate and conversation. It’s been distributed one way for so long. I think there’s probably a lot of opportunity between the all you can eat and free television. I think there’s a lot of room there to explore, and I think we’re going to explore there.”
This is welcome news. Dropping $300 for 18 weeks of NFL games is a non-starter for many people, and cheaper, smaller packages would probably appeal to many potential customers.
Of course, the single-team package is the dream for fans. But even then, it would be tough for the NFL to properly price those packages. Charging the same for a Cowboys package (when they’re in primetime or playing the national game more often than not) as a Texans package (who aren’t a popular primetime pick) wouldn’t create fair value. And if they were to charge different prices for different teams depending on total games, imagine the outcry if games are flexed and fans of two different teams are paying different prices for the same amount of games.
Anyway. Those concerns about single-team packages make cheaper, smaller packages an interesting proposition. If there’s a game you really want to see that isn’t airing in your local market, I think the NFL could have a lot of success with single week, or even single game, packages. They’d probably still be ridiculously priced so as not to undercut the full season package, but paying $20 for the thing you specifically seems more appealing than paying $300 for a giant bucket of games that also includes matchups you have zero interest in.