Cory’s Corner: The NFL is killing its familial identity

DirecTV will stream its popular Sunday Ticket package to people that don't need a satellite subscription. This will turn the wheels for the NFL to start charging for more and more of its televised product.
DirecTV will stream its popular Sunday Ticket package to people that don’t need a satellite subscription. This will turn the wheels for the NFL to start charging for more and more of its televised product.

I noticed a lot of people were happy about the news that DirecTV would offer streaming options for Sunday Ticket without a satellite subscription.

But this is just the beginning of the end folks.

Televising football games has come long way since Pat Summerall and John Madden started calling games on CBS in 1981. With the dawn of the NFL Network in 2003, and Thursday Night Football three years later, fans would be forced to pay for a higher cable tier just to see a mediocre night of football.

The NFL is taking in nearly $10 billion in yearly revenue right now, which is an astronomical number if you’re name isn’t Warren Buffet. But the NFL suits want to make more. The NFL has a goal of making $25 billion in revenue by 2027.

Of course, they’re not going to make all that by selling its most prized possession for television viewers as a stand-alone product. People living in urban areas paying approximately $20 per week to stream games at home instead of going to sports bars may be a small step, but it’s a step toward something bigger.

It won’t take long before the NFL puts the clamps on a full Sunday Ticket streaming package and forces fans to only pay for an a la carte package. Meaning, you would only pay for the games you want to see. That is music to a lot of fan’s ears because why in the world would a Packers fan care about the Cardinals?

A few years after the NFL institutes the a la carte package, the NFL will want to go all-in with a pay-per-view package. Obviously, the broadcast networks will balk at this. The networks hemorrhage money each year on non-football programming, but the NFL is a cash cow for them and changing the current model would be terrifying.

But no matter how much resistance the broadcast networks put up, the NFL will want pay-per-view. The current TV deals with CBS, Fox and NBC are worth $27 billion and the agreement expires after the 2022 season. I doubt that pay-per-view will be in play when the next contract is signed, but it will be discussed.

The NFL is a beast and it is eating up anything that tries to stand in its way. Just think, if the NFL does reach its goal of $25 billion, it would be in the same financial stratosphere as Nike, McDonald’s and Goodyear Tire.

The losers, of course, would be the fans. The people that pay for cable and satellite packages, the new streaming services or even the ones that sit in sports bars every Sunday.

The next generation of fans may not grow up with the NFL as that familial sport that makes it easy to huddle around the TV. And the reason is because fans may not have the funds down the road to see all of their NFL idols on a weekly basis.

So, don’t take what we have for granted right now. There are at least 10 free games on Sunday, including the best-produced game of the week that night on NBC. I have never liked Thursday games, mainly because it diminishes team’s prep time and it’s obvious that many players are tired. But they aren’t going anywhere, especially now that CBS has thrown its hat into the ring this year.

The NFL has been accused of being too corporate and concerned about money before.

Roger Goodell can only shrug his shoulders. Why? Because he doesn’t care.


Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn


9 thoughts on “Cory’s Corner: The NFL is killing its familial identity

  1. It’s worth noting that the streaming of Sunday Ticket this year is really no different than in years past. When signing up, DirecTV will check your address. If they find you’re able to get their service where you live, they will not let you purchase this streaming only service. They will make you sign up for full DirecTV service instead. Exceptions seem to be apartments, certain condos, and the rare geographic area DirecTV can’t provide coverage. Appears they just aren’t advertising the limitations as much as they previously did.

  2. Pay-per-view will make them billions of dollars, but will eventually ruin the game. Maybe they will get Dana White of the UFC to help get them started. Then they can start fixing the outcomes of the games. That sounds like fun…NOT!

  3. Going to PPV would eventually kill the sport because new fans aren’t passionate enough yet to pay money. It’s only AFTER the addiction sets in that you’ll do whatever it takes to get your fix.

    Us? We’d pay it (for the most part). But our kids? Our grandkids?


    1. If your kids/grandkids grow up watching becuz you paid for it, they would be invested in their favorite teams and likely find a way to pay for it too.

      Are you likely to prevent your kids from watching w/ you? No… So its highly likely that the next generation would still find a way.

  4. The NFL isn’t killing anything. Wanna know whats taking fans away from the family and everyone watching their one favorite team? Its Fantasy Football. With fantasy fans are now invested in players on many teams, not just their favorite team.

    As long as fans are willing to pay for the product they’ll keep pushing for more revenue. Just like any good business would!

    Get over the idea that football is for you and your love of the game. Its Business! VERY, VERY BIG BUSINESS.

    1. Why do you think the NFL Network came up w/ the red zone channel? So fans can keep track of their fantasy players. They saw a perceived “need” and they filled it.

  5. If the NFL leaves free network TV it will just give me more time on Sundays for other things. MLB now puts many post season games on odd cable channels. I couldn’t believe it when I tried to find a Cubs playoff game back in 2007. Having grown up before cable and the internet, I will never pay per view. I’ll just have more time for friends, reading, etc.

  6. I have been watching on line for several years. I pay zippo and anyone can do this, just do a google on it guys. I have been out of the area now for 34 yrs and sure wished I new about this years ago. Direct got me for several years but no way am I paying that fee ever again.

  7. I felt like we/the fans were actually being heard the past couple years from Direct TV and NFL, remember they tried and did jack up the price on the Sunday Ticket, well then they lowered it and think lowered it again last year but made u pay extra if you wanted Redzone channel and the totally awesome replays of all the games condensed into 30 minute chunks that would play for a couple days. Think I paid 150 last year. Previous years it was reaching 300 or 350 for everything they offered. I get the point of article though and it brings me to this entire culture of greed, where was it written that you needed to increase your profits every year/or quarter if you are already making 20 billion in profits? That entire mentality is killing many things.

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