NFL Sunday Ticket Is 25 Years Old

Let’s cut to the chase here, the big news from this infographic that was emailed today to 500 or so media outlets has to be that there are 750 Sunday Ticket lifers still hanging on from 1994. Imagine being that big of a visionary in 1994 that you needed this new cable thing where you’d be able to watch a bunch of football games and then you never got rid of it for all those years. Kudos to those who stuck it out or even had a TV that could handle it back in the day.
I’m not even sure my dad’s TV was capable of running the Ticket in the fall of 1994. It could barely run 50 channels and we weren’t adding to the package that’s for sure. If you wanted to catch a game you either hoped the Bengals got a 1 ET slot or you went to some sports bar and hoped they had the channel. You pretty much just waited for Boomer and Tommy Jackson to come on after the 4 ET kickoffs.
Let’s go back to an article from 1994 on the Ticket and what it meant at the time:

So far, 65,000 backyard dish owners across the country have paid the NFL $99-$139 for a season of regionally telecast games, game schedules and satellite-viewing guide. The price varied, depending on when dish owners signed up.
More than 1,000 sports bars have enrolled at much higher fees, said Tola Murphy-Baran, vice president of marketing and sales for NFL Enterprises. Sports bars pay $399-$1,899, depending on how many seats they have. A typical sports bar, which seats 51-100 people, would pay $699.
Football season is prime time for sports bars. Hundreds more have called during the past two weeks to have the NFL descramble signals to their satellite dishes, so they can televise regional games, Murphy-Baran said.

The NFL’s pay-for-satellite program, called NFL Sunday Ticket, is proving to be most popular in Florida and Arizona.

More:

Josee Legault of The Sports Ticket in Deerfield Beach said NFL Sunday Ticket will be in place at that sports bar by the start of the regular season. The Sports Ticket paid about $1,500 to sign up, she said.
“We don’t have any options,” Legault said. “You don’t do it, you get almost nothing.”
Although it’s being careful about predictions, the NFL sees satellite payments as a major new revenue source. NFL Sunday Ticket will bring in more than $7 million this season, based on the league’s preliminary, preseason sign-up numbers.

And you wonder why the NFL is dabbling with Yahoo broadcasts and game highlights on Facebook. You think it’s dumb. Your buddy thinks its dumb. The local sports talk homer in your town thinks its dumb. It’s not dumb. These guys aren’t billionaires because they sit on their hands.
Where is Sunday Ticket heading? I assume into gambling integration & virtual reality — headset on, watching the game at the stadium, but you’re on the couch.¬†Here we are 25 years later and bar owners are looking for new ways to get you through the doors after years of crushing it thanks to the Ticket.
Now they have to carry 70 microbrews with hip names so you feel special via the beer you’re drinking. It’s all just a continuous game to make you feel better about yourself and your miserable life.

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