I received the email below from a reader recently asking how to watch Justin Fields (one of my all-time favorite Ohio State quarterbacks) and the Chicago Bears, from Maine.
As a long suffering Detroit Lions fan who used to have to beg various bar owners in lower Manhattan to put on the Honolulu Blue and Silver on Sundays, I know what it’s like to be an out-of-market NFL fan without access to your favorite team, so I fired up my laptop to answer Theodore’s question, and offer a bit of advice for the 2022 NFL season in the process – don’t buy NFL Sunday Ticket this year.
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2022 is the final year of DIRECTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket deal
DIRECTV has the rights to out-of-market NFL broadcasts this season, the last year on their deal. It is widely anticipated that Apple will take over the NFL’s out-of-market TV rights for next season and add NFL Sunday Ticket to Apple TV+ as a streaming only product.
In the meantime, and as you can see from Theodore’s question, you have to prove you aren’t eligible for a satellite dish before you can access NFL Sunday Ticket.TV to live stream out-of-market NFL games in 2022. Keep in mind that NFL Sunday Ticket isn’t the same product as NFL Sunday Ticket.TV. The priority for DIRECTV is to sell satellite dish subscriptions. The AT&T owned streaming service only allows NFL fans to stream NFL Sunday Ticket (with a product called NFL Sunday Ticket.TV) if they can show they’re not eligible for a dish.
As a practical matter, the way it breaks out is if you live in a single family home, you can’t watch NFL Sunday Ticket.TV this season, and instead have to add a dish to your roof.
Don’t get stuck with a dish you won’t need next year
If you are only adding the dish to get access to NFL Sunday Ticket, don’t do it. This NFL season will soon be over, and next season you will be stuck with a dish on your roof that won’t get you any out-of-market NFL games.
By contrast, if you are eligible for NFL Sunday Ticket.TV, which means you live in a condo, apartment, townhome, or dorm, go for it, you can switch to Apple TV+ next season.
Answering Theodore’s question
To answer Theodore’s question, because DIRECTV Has flagged his address as ineligible for NFL Sunday Ticket.TV, and because his HOA won’t allow a dish, he has no avenue for watching every Bears game from Maine. The next best choice is to stream the games that appear nationally, or late kickoffs that air to large chunks of the nation, and then use NFL Red Zone to peak in on Bear’s scoring drives.
See also: Understanding the NFL’s regional TV rules
This season won’t be easy, but next season is a brand new world, with the Bears on every Sunday, even in Maine.
Let’s hope they get Fields a few more offensive weapons to make the team worth watching next season.
Live TV streaming services that carry NFL Red Zone
|Fubo||Fubo Sports Plus with NFL RedZone||Hulu + Live TV Sports Add-On||Orange & Blue Sports Extra||YouTube TV||YouTube TV Sports Plus|
$74.99 / month
$80.98 / month
$84.99 / month
$65 / month
$72.99 / month
$83.99 / month
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