If you’re anything like me, one of the major reasons that you have stuck with DirecTV as your entertainment provider over the years is football. I’m not talking college football, Arena Football, Canadian Football, or whatever it is they play overseas. I’m referring to the most popular sport in the United States: the National Football League. After years of DirecTV being the only game in town, NFL fanatics finally have a second option in the form of the PlayStation 3.
Rather than be confined to whatever games are shown in the local market, DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket has allowed fans to watch all of the out-of town games from the comfort of their own homes. If you weren’t a DirecTV subscriber, but wanted access to NFL Sunday Ticket, you were out of luck as DirecTV has had an exclusive broadcasting deal with the NFL for years. While that exclusive deal is still in place, Sony and DirecTV have reached an agreement that will allow PlayStation 3 owners to have access to NFL Sunday Ticket via the PlayStation Network.
Unlike the MLB and NHL packages on the PS3, however, the Ticket is not cheap. You’ll have to pay $339.95 if you’re not a current DirecTV/Ticket subscriber. If you’re willing to trade your cable for DirecTV, you can avoid this surcharge for a year, which isn’t a bad deal. For those who already subscribe to the NFL package, you can obtain PS3 access as well for another $50. Those who have both the NFL package and NFL Sunday Ticket To Go will have access on their PS3 at no additional cost. Like the other sports packages offered on the PlayStation Network, the feeds will be broadcast in high definition, provided you have the bandwidth to do support this.
While this is a huge exclusive for the PlayStation 3, the move is a bit puzzling for DirecTV. The satellite provider likely hopes that many PS3 owners will decide to subscribe to its service, but this new avenue for fans to watch the NFL may actually have the opposite effect. With many cable companies bundling their services at much lower rates than DirecTV, many of the company’s subscribers may jump ship knowing they can pay much less for cable while watching the NFL on their PS3’s. In any case, the PlayStation 3 has definitely become the console of choice for sports junkies.
NFL Sunday Ticket will be available for the 2011 season exclusively on the PS3.