I don’t like door-to-door salesmen. In fact, hate is not too strong of a word here. I absolutely hate anyone coming to my door who is holding a clipboard. Maybe it’s the clipboard, I don’t know, but when I approach the door and see a clipboard it immediately sets me off. I’m in a foul mood before the intruder even opens their mouth.
Lately it seems that cable TV, or more specifically, satellite TV is a ripe opportunity for the door-to-door salesman. Okay, salesperson. Whatever. I’ve been intruded upon now by three different satellite TV sales persons in the last month. Two of them were with major providers, Comcast and DISH, and the other guy a few weeks ago was with a local satellite company out of Albuquerque. The DISH representative actually made it into the house and was sitting at my dining room table when I walked in from the backyard and saw the clipboard. My wife was responsible for letting the intruder in. She wasn’t “in” very long.
I tell them all the same thing. I’m not shopping for satellite TV. I’ve been with DirectTV since the service was available to me in the early 90s in Tucson AZ. I wanted DirecTV for one reason, and one reason only: “NFL Sunday Ticket.” I pay way too much, I have 400 channels that never have anything on worth watching, but I get pretty much fail-safe HD reception on my 70″ LCD Samsung television. And believe me when I say this, it’s all about football.
The guy a few weeks ago, actually said to me that he doesn’t have “NFL Sunday Ticket” but he has something similar. No you don’t. Get off my porch.
I would like to pay less for satellite TV, of course I would, but until “NFL Sunday Ticket” is available on other services, that isn’t going to happen. My DirecTV bill is currently $197 a month. Sixty dollars of that amount is the six monthly payments for “NFL Sunday Ticket” that I start paying every September through February. Sounds like a lot of money, but I get to see every game, every Sunday, up to six games at the same time, and most importantly, I get to see my team.
Well, that’s how it all started anyway. When I moved to Tucson in 1991, the local market for network TV was the San Diego Chargers, and, of course, the Arizona Cardinals (Known as the Phoenix Cardinals at the time.) My team, the Denver Broncos, weren’t on unless they were playing San Diego or Arizona. So I had to find a bar that was telecasting Denver games. I finally did, but I wondered how they were able to get those games out of market. The answer was satellite. How was I going to get me a satellite setup? Where was I going to put a 10 foot diameter dish in my backyard, and where was I going to get the more than $5,000 I needed? The answer to those questions was, I wasn’t. So for two years I hung out in bars on Sunday to watch the Broncos play.
Then on June 1, 1994 the NFL began its “NFL Sunday Ticket” satellite TV service. The package was offered through DirecTV and it was being offered for free for the first year. Of course you had to sign a contract for two years, but I didn’t care. I was at the consumer electronics store the first payday in June. DirecTV was absolutely unbelievable. Hundreds of channels, more hours of television than there were in a day, and you could record shows you didn’t have time to watch, so you could watch them later when you didn’t have time to watch. They installed the dish for free, and starting in September, I was able to watch every game on one screen, most importantly, watch my team every Sunday. I was in football heaven.
I probably wasn’t the first subscriber of “NFL Sunday Ticket,” but I’m sure I was in the top 100. I’ve paid over $7,500 over the last 22 years to watch my team, watch your team, watch teams I don’t even like, and I almost never miss a Denver game. When we moved to Reno, NV in 2001, “NFL Sunday Ticket” was a requirement. Again, because the Denver Broncos were not televised in that market. The hated Oakland Raiders were on every Sunday, and the San Francisco 49ers, and, secondly, we were now able to go to the local sports book and bet on the games. You can’t bet on the games if you aren’t able to watch all the games, because you need to know how the teams are doing if you want to place logical bets. At least, that was our argument. We would sit every Sunday, watching the “Red Zone Channel” and checking scores, as we watched our parlay cards dissolve into unprofitable slips of paper. Yeah, we didn’t get rich betting on football, but we won some.
We call Sundays at our house “The Church of the NFL.” Services start at 10:00 am and last until 9:30 pm every Sunday. I go to church religiously.
So if you’re a cable or satellite TV salesperson, don’t waste your time ringing my doorbell. I know you see the DirecTV dish on my house. It’s clearly visible from the street, and unless you somehow manage to get the exclusive contract for “NFL Sunday Ticket” it’s staying right there. WTF.