Sony is slowly but surely expanding their PlayStation Network to a variety of users, introducing movies, TV shows, streaming services like Netflix and Hulu Plus and great sports channels like MLB.TV and NHL GameCenter Live. Today it took an even bigger step by announcing DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket as an available service this fall to all PSN users. It's looking like a pretty sweet deal for football fans, but there are things that need to be taken under consideration.
NFL Sunday Ticket is a service that was introduced on DirecTV years ago, giving subscribers the chance to watch out-of-area games that wouldn't normally be broadcasted on their local channels. Let's say you're a fan of the New England Patriots that had to move to San Francisco for business or personal reasons. Now, unless they were playing the 49er's, you probably wouldn't be able to see them in action every week. Sunday Ticket remedies this by giving you the option to watch the game live, via streaming, as you would sitting in a New England bar.
It's an ideal service for those who can't watch their games locally or don't have the option of hitting a bar close by, and it's perfect for football fans. We've used the service countless times, and having it available on the PlayStation Network is a major advantage -- especially if Sony could find some way to tie it in with EA Sports' Madden NFL 12, perhaps introducing tournament initatives or something to raise Sunday spirits. (Hey, Sony, we'd be down.)
But before you go rushing for the remote, there is one thing you'll need to know -- this service won't come cheap. DirecTV is pricing the Sunday Ticket package for PS3 the same way they would on their satellite services. Which means, you'll be paying $339.95 for the entire season. Now, while this is a good option for those who don't have the satellite service (or can't get it due to apartment restrictions or whatever), it is quite costly -- especially compared to going to a local sports bar and watching the game there, amongst good company, with a few beers to quaff down in the process.
If you are a DirecTV subscriber, you have the option of adding the Sunday Ticket services to your PS3 for an additional $50, turning it into another receiver without interruption to your original service. Again, a little costly for our tastes, but that's the pricing that DirecTV has it set at.
Hey, no one said football was cheap. Single-game tickets for most teams go around the $200 range, and that's not including concessions, accessories and whatever else have you. And we're sure season ticket holders are paying a higher amount, for their luxury catered suites and what have you. (And if you know anyone who has one for the Broncos, um, call me...please?)
Though the price is somewhat an arm and a leg (you'd think a single week option would be available), there's no question this is a huge push for the PlayStation Network. To have a majority of sports options available, especially compared to Microsoft's singular ESPN streaming service on Xbox Live (and that doesn't include any NFL games, even), is huge, and will no doubt attract a throng of fans who want to see their favorite teams in action, without having to set up a satellite dish. This is an advantage that DirecTV, Sony, and the NFL will no doubt relish -- and the fans as well.
And to be honest, it is great to have football back. Now then, I need to hit the blood bank...