NFL Sunday Ticket: How Much Do Bars and Restaurants Pay?

Philip Swann, writing at The TV Answer Man back in October:

We don’t know how many bars and restaurants actually subscribe to the Sunday Ticket, but we do know how much they pay if they do and it’s significant. According to DirectTV’s web site, a bar/restaurant with a Fire Code Occupancy (FCO) of 101-200 must pay $6,000 a season for the Ticket. Owners of establishments with a FCO of 201-350 must pay $8,500; those with 351-500 must pay $12,350 while those with places that can serve 501-750 people must pay $13,700.

The rate goes even higher: If you have a bar/restaurant that can serve 751-1000 people, you would have to pay $19,000 for the Sunday Ticket; $28,125 for a place with a FCO of 1,001-1500; and $37,500 for an establishment with a FCO of 1,501 to 2,000.

Finally, if you have a mega place that can serve between 2,001 and 5,000 people, you’ll need to fork over $78,000!

I omitted bars and restaurants from my piece yesterday on Apple purportedly having already secured the rights for Sunday Ticket streaming rights in 2023, but it’s worth thinking about. Even small bars and restaurants pay a lot more for Sunday Ticket than home users do. And my understanding is that businesses have to get it via satellite DirecTV service — there’s no streaming option.

Even consumer Sunday Ticket is only available via streaming for certain people — students, and people who live in multi-unit buildings who can’t install a satellite dish, for example.

I would expect all of this to change under Apple. Swann speculates that even if Apple secures the rights for streaming, that businesses might still be served by DirecTV. I can’t see that happening. No way does Apple pay $2 or 2.5 billion for partial Sunday Ticket rights. At that price, Apple should reasonably demand exclusive rights, which means Sunday Ticket will only be available via streaming, and NFL fans can climb up on their roofs and disconnect their DirecTV dishes.

When you think about it, it seems obvious the NFL would want to move in this direction. Even if, say, Apple bid the exact same amount for Sunday Ticket as DirecTV, it seems to me the NFL would prefer to sell the rights to Apple. Streaming is the future. Satellite TV service has always been a niche, at best, and at this point is going the way of the dodo. If you’ll forgive mixing sports metaphors, skate to where the puck is heading, not where it’s been.

The question is, how will Apple charge bars and restaurants for Sunday Ticket? And what sort of equipment will they need to set it up and control it?

Tuesday, 19 April 2022