How TV Has Transformed the NFL into a Stay-at-Home Sport

Chris Dela Rosa@chris_deezyContributor IMarch 15, 2012

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07:  A general view of the empty stands as players warm up and stretch prior to the Houston Texans hosting the Cincinnati Bengals during their 2012 AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Reliant Stadium on January 7, 2012 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

Year after year, more and more people are choosing to stay at home and watch their favorite teams play from the comfort of their own couches.  With new innovations in technology and a few other factors, staying at home and watching the games has very quickly become the best decision.

So, let’s get this one out of the way quickly; ticket prices is the first major factor keeping people in their homes.  A very nice example to use would be the ticket system of the New York Jets who opened their new stadium almost two years ago. 

For the diehard fan who wants to get season tickets, they not only have to pay for the seat(s) they are buying for all eight home games, they first have to pay for a personal seat license, which gives them the right to buy season tickets.  Depending on where that fan wants to sit, their PSL could cost anywhere from $4,000 to $25,000.  At the same time they could sit in the upper bowl, and not have to pay the obnoxiously large one-time fee called the PSL.

Why would someone want to do that though?

To pay about $100 per ticket to sit in the upper bowl all season, with the risk of not being in one of the lower rows, having to pay for food, the perpetual traffic jams and the possibility of dealing with bad weather.  And unlike many other teams, the ticket marketplace StubHub does not offer much of an alternative for fans as tickets are usually the same price or even more expensive.  Now don’t get me wrong, for some people that sounds like a nice gig for a season, but I know it’s not the move for me.

To continue with the New York Jets example that I have already started, imagine being an average Joe and loving your New York Jets to the point where you do not want to miss any moment of the season but you also do not want to use all of your savings before you are even remotely close to retirement.  With all of the different technologies that have been developed in the last decade, people can turn their homes into a stadium.

With packages like the Sunday Ticket Package from companies like DIRECTV, that average fan can call up DIRECTV, pay a much smaller fee of $300 compared to the hundreds or thousands he’d spend on season tickets and that pesky personal seat license.  If he does not get the Sunday Ticket Package, he could always get the NFL’s RedZone channel. 

The beauty of the package and/or channel is that the viewer is not just stuck watching their own team play, within seconds their home can go from being the ever-so-loud CenturyLink Field to the beautiful surroundings of East Rutherford and New York City at MetLife Stadium.  Throw in a nice recliner and large HDTV, both of which will last the consumer a long amount of time, saving them money in the end and still allowing them to catch all of the action.

Another benefit of being able to watch games benefits all of the fantasy junkies out there reading this.  Being at a game and trying to read while watching the score of your fantasy game is pretty tough. No? By watching the games comfortably in one's home, with a package like DIRECTV’s, that fantasy lover can easily switch between games to watch and see how their fantasy players perform, or they could watch their favorite team play while paying attention to fantasy on their computer. 

For those who are more technologically inclined, the new smart-tv’s combine the best of both worlds for these fans as they now have picture in picture capabilities where someone’s fantasy game can appear on the screen along with their game.

It is incredible how much football broadcasting has changed over the years, from the plain black and white broadcasts of the mid-20th century to the 3-D broadcasts that we have today.  The new technologies are now starting to provide a cheaper alternative for fans who do not want to miss a single moment of their team’s season as more and more people choose to watch from their living rooms rather than a seat in their team’s stadium.