Out-of-town Bills fans, it is that time of the year. Check your mail or email, because DirecTV will be sending you a bill for your NFL Sunday Ticket subscription. If you are already a subscriber, or have plans to subscribe this year for the first time, I'm sure you have debated and prepared yourself mentally for the cost.
Local and privileged Bills fan that live in an area that allows them to watch Bills game for free may have no idea what I'm talking about. But us out-of-towners will be paying anywhere between $250-354 to watch our Bills play this season. That equates to $42-59 per month for six months, and $15.63-22.13 per regular season Bills game. These cots are added onto your regular cable bill, as a cable subscription is mandatory for the service to work.
Just like your costly cable packages with hundreds of obscure channels, DirecTV forces you to pay for every game, even those that you don't watch. The price can vary based on the package you purchase, with the most expensive package including NFL RedZone, Fantasy Zone, 30-minute game rewind, and the ability to watch games on mobile devices.
I know what you all may be thinking: "Gee, that's expensive." It's even more expensive if you consider that you might only watch part of the game because the Bills are playing awful and you are forced to turn away. Either way, if you are like me, you prayed to the football gods for some sort of a reprieve. You prayed for an option that allows you to pay for the games that you watch.
Lo and behold, there may be some good news headed our way. Something awesome just recently happened in the cable world that may be the answer to all of our prayers.
The NBA offers a similar package called the NBA League Pass, which allows fans to watch every NBA game for an additional $200. This season, the NBA decided to reward their fans with another package. The NBA is offering a team package for $120, which is geared specifically to out-of-market fans. They are also offering single game pay-per-view telecasts for $7 apiece.
Can this work for NFL? If so, how do you determine the cost?
Let's start with what we know. The NBA charges its fans $120, or 60 percent of its $200 season package, for access to a team package. If the NFL did the same thing, and took 60 percent of its basic $250 package, the new team package would be $150.
If a fan purchased a $120 NBA team package, they are actually paying $1.46 per game ($120 divided by 82 regular season games), the equivalent of $9.38 for the NFL team package ($150 divided by 16 regular season games). However, as mentioned earlier, the NBA is actually marking up their individual-game cost by charging $7 for a single game pay-per-view telecast. That's a 480 percent markup ($7 divided by $1.46). If the NFL decided to use the same formula, and mark up their $9.38 single-game cost, a single game pay-per-view will cost $45, or the rough equivalent of a cheap ticket at Ralph Wilson Stadium. I provided a graph for those of you that are visual.
|Package||Package Cost||Per-game Cost||Single-game Cost|
|NBA League Pass Team Package||$120||$1.46 ($120/82)||$7 (480% markup)|
|NFL Sunday Ticket Team Package||$150||$9.38 ($150/16)||$45 (480% markup)|
Of course, the NFL Sunday Ticket team package is hypothetical, since one doesn't already exist. But the exercise is interesting, because if it did exist, some fans would have some things to consider.
We can all pretty much agree that a $150 NFL team package can be quite enticing for fans that are already paying $250. But what is that magic number for a NFL single-game, pay-per-view telecast? At first glance, $45 seems to be a bit much, but there are variables to consider.
I pose the question to you, Bills fans: if you lived out of town and had to pay to see Bills games, how much would a single-game telecast be worth to you? I am interested to know the absolute maximum that you would pay for a single regular-season game.