To consume the NFL all a person needs is a broadcast antenna. The NFL airs games on broadcast networks for free. Opting to view the NFL that way gives fans local games, the late afternoon game of the week, and Sunday Night Football. That is in the neighborhood of 10 hours of football every Sunday during the season, including two of the best games on the schedule. Those games are why the NFL doesn’t have to figure out the problem of how individual teams replace television revenue as the regional sports network model dies.


For those who want more than those three or four games every Sunday, you will be contributing directly to the NFL’s goal of $25 billion in annual profits by 2027. If you live in New York but want to watch your beloved Detroit Lions it is going to cost you — and it is going to cost you a lot.

Why spend that kinda dough?

I get it. With so much free football on TV, there is no need for the NFL to give customers a break on the ability to consume all of it. The free games keep the ratings and rights fees up, while cash is made on the other end by those who want access to everything. This fact is why the only businesses more failsafe in this country than the NFL are local power companies, Amazon, and NBA stylists.


Whoever has control over the supply has control over the game. It’s why in The Wire, for all of Stringer Bell’s efforts in putting the co-op together the group belonged to Proposition Joe. That is what Marlo understood, and why once he figured out who the supplier was, Joe’s days on Earth were coming to a very near end.

The NFL controls the supply of live television entertainment in America, and it is flexing this power with these new Sunday Ticket prices. If you don’t want to pay for it, that is fine but it will be a pain for you to figure out what to watch on Sunday afternoons in autumn when several season-ending injuries have your local team at 1-6 before Halloween. There is no more DirecTV to call and threaten to cut off your service and get Sunday Ticket free for a season. I couldn’t even find a customer service number for YouTube TV.


So yes, the NFL upped the price of the brick and is going to continue to rake in money from every possible source.