Profane Anti-DRM rant about NFL Sunday Ticket

I pay for NFL Sunday Ticket Max, which aside from attending the actual games is, I believe, the most money you can spend to follow a professional sport. I pay for this because I’m a New York football Giants fan, and have been since the early 80’s (Thanks LT! 😉 I’ve been a Sunday Ticket subscriber for 8 or 9 seasons. Of late, my subscription offers a mobile app which used to be free, but now costs more (hence the Max). I use the mobile app a lot because of my kids, dragging my ipad around the house as I play, change diapers, feed, and put them down for naps.

Yesterday the Giants played Denver, and were broadcast on a local affiliate. Still, the game worked on my ipad, and I watched the first half. During halftime, I switched out to check my email, and suddenly the app decided regional restrictions precluded me watching the game on my ipad.

I understand what the regional restrictions mean: the local affiliate is paying for their license to broadcast the game by showing me ads. I also understand me accidentally being able to watch half the game on my ipad anyway was a (very convenient) bug. That’s not the object of my rant. Some combination of the NFL and DirectTV are.

I’m a huge fan. For nine years I’ve given you every penny you’ve asked of me so I can watch my team each week, and I literally have not missed a Giants game in that time, until yesterday. That game was coming into my house via a wire coming from DirecTV which licensed content from the NFL. Stop giving a fucking shit which screen I watch it on. How much money do I have to pay you so I can watch the fucking Giants games? Have you paid attention to what happens to content companies which artificially restrict access to content to protect their antique business models? Fix this shit – if you want to charge me to watch games, give me the fucking games!!! Your contract is up next year. Please NFL, please, please please: just sell me access to the games and cut out these dinosaur middlemen. The tv networks are dying anyway, and I’ll pay you straight cash to just give me the games without suffering the consequences of a bunch of loopholes tied to shitty broadcast contracts which impede my ability to use the service I’m paying for.*

(said rant driven into high blood pressure territory by the fact that despite looking terrible, the Giants were in the game through the first half, but then got a second half spanking. I get that I am probably better off not having seen that, but you should have seen me yesterday, I was about as pissed off as I can get).

*If you can’t do that, then DirecTV: find some way to fix your shit. You know where I live. I have to login to use the mobile apps, and the iPad app has location services turned on so it knows exactly where I am sitting while I am watching these games. Pipe the local affiliate’s ads through your mobile app so I can watch the goddamned games, or I don’t know what, but don’t artificially restrict what screen I can watch a game on when you’re already pushing both the national and affiliate broadcasts right into my house. Let me watch it in the manner I choose. No Max for me next season if this isn’t addressed somehow.

3 thoughts on “Profane Anti-DRM rant about NFL Sunday Ticket

  1. dadleehamilton says:

    you see where they set the top-tier price for super bowl tix @ $2600 a tush? i’ma think they don’t care where you sit in the house to watch. you’ll be strapping your 80″ teevee to your back before they take any notice. try being a browns’ fan — you’ll care less game-to-game.


  2. dlh says:

    Here’s the thing – they don’t think they should care, but meanwhile it’s already possible to ‘steal’ these games by looking elsewhere for the content, just like happened to the music business etc. Sports is less susceptible to this than those mediums are, but if they enrage enough folks with their rigid adherence to old models, what we know is that ultimately folks will find a way to end around them. So they had better listen is my advice 😉

    Also, the browns are hopeless, sorry 😉


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