If you haven’t heard, EA Sports is offering a special Anniversary Edition of Madden 25 exclusively through Amazon. The biggest selling point of this $100 edition is that it comes with a year (17 weeks) of NFL Sunday Ticket from DirectTV. On the surface, this seems like a great offer, but the devil is in the details and the details are pretty murky at this point.
The Amazon website lists the following cryptic information about the Direct TV offer:
“For fans who are not currently DirecTV subscribers but are able to receive DirecTV service, they will receive a promo code entitling them to $10 off per month for their first year of service and one year of NFL Sunday Ticket Max at no additional charge.
For fans who are already DirecTV and NFL Sunday Ticket Max subscribers, you can access NFL Sunday Ticket on your computer, tablet, and mobile devices using your current DirecTV username and password.
For fans unable to receive DirecTV service, each Madden NFL 25 Anniversary Edition will include a unique code to access the 2013 regular season (17 weeks) trial of NFL Sunday Ticket on computers, tablets, and mobile devices- including access to the award-winning Red Zone Channel.”
The official offer breaks consumers into three groups: fans who are not DirectTV subscribers, fans who are already subscribers and fans who are unable to receive DirectTV. The question is, which group do you belong to? I suspect that most people who want this offer belong to a fourth category. That group would be people who do not have DirectTV and do want to subscribe to DirectTV, but just want to watch NFL Sunday Ticket on their computer, tablet or other mobile device. If you fall into this category, unfortunately, the offer is very convoluted.
According to the official language, in order to just get Sunday Ticket and not have to subscribe to DirectTV you must be “unable” to receive DirectTV. That doesn’t mean you simply don’t want it. It means it would be impossible for you to receive it where you live. In my dealings with DirectTV, I have learned there are only three ways you would be unable to receive it. First, you live in an area where DirectTV is not available at all. This area is becoming increasingly small. Second, you like in a building that is blocked on all sides by barriers to the signal like tall buildings or natural landmarks. This too is becoming a smaller and smaller number of people as DirectTV’s technology gets better. The third is that you are renting your abode and you are not allowed to have a satellite dish installed on the property like a dorm or apartment.
If you don’t fall into any of those three categories, then you technically are “fans who are not currently DirecTV subscribers but are able to receive DirecTV service”. According to the offer, “they will receive a promo code entitling them to $10 off per month for their first year of service and one year of NFL Sunday Ticket Max at no additional charge”. Most of us who don’t have DirectTV should not be able to take advantage of this offer without first subscribing to DirectTV.
Unofficially, representatives of Electronic Arts (the makers of Madden 25) are telling people that the offer will work even if you don’t subscribe to DirectTV. The EA representatives are telling people that they will be able to use the unique code included with the game to access 17 weeks of NFL Sunday Ticket on their computer or mobile device. This puts them at odds with the official language of the offer.
To get some clarity, popular sports gaming blogger Pasta Padre (http://www.pastapadre.com) called DirectTV and was told, “Unless verification is made determining you are unable to get DirectTV service where you live (based on satellite positioning or living in an apartment building) you will not be granted access to the anything this deal offers”. You can read Pasta Padre’s complete article here: www.pastapadre.com/2013/05/17/madden-nfl-25-anniversary-edition-exclusiv…
It sounds like DirectTV representatives and EA Sports representatives are contradicting each other. If your confidence in this offer is shaken there is a bit of good news.
I was forwarded two emails by @im_mikemac of twitter (https://twitter.com/im_mikemac). He contacted both Amazon and DirectTV about the offer and received replies from both.
This is the response from DirectTV:
The DirecTV offer included with Madden 25
Response Via Email(Barbara R (ID 402850)) – 05/20/2013 11:31 AM
Dear Mr. (Name redacted),
Thank you for writing back. I understand you still have additional questions in regards to the Madden NFL SUNDAY TICKET promotion. I can certainly address this for you today.
Please understand, this is an offer provided through Madden and not DIRECTV. The details for this offer are given by them and honored through them for signing up based on the Madden purchase.
The code provided will either allow you to create a new account with us as a customer or you are given a code to use the trial service online as a non DIRECTV customer. From my understanding this just states that if you are not a customer and not going to sign up then you can use a code provided to access the trial online.
Thank you again for writing Mr. McEldowney.
Barbara R (ID 402850)
DIRECTV Resolution Specialist
P.S. Have a question? Anytime, any topic, instant answers – support.directv.com The Answer Center provides you helpful information, 24/7, all at your fingertips.”
Amazon pretty much just repeated the official terms of the offer:
I’m sorry for the inconvenience caused in this regard.
I’ve searched for you regarding the Madden NFL 25 Anniversary Edition.
Please understand that, each Anniversary Edition includes a special code for eligible gamers giving them the opportunity to unlock a special, 2013 regular season (17 weeks) trial of NFL Sunday Ticket on computer, tablet, and mobile devices.
Exclusive Offers From DirecTV
*For fans who are able to receive DirecTV service, a special promo code will be included entitling them to an exclusive promotion, including $10 off per month for their first year of service, and one year of NFL Sunday Ticket Max at no additional charge.
*For fans who are already DirecTV and NFL Sunday Ticket Max subscribers, you can access NFL Sunday Ticket on your computer, tablet, and mobile devices using your current DirecTV username and password.
*For fans unable to receive DirecTV service, each Madden NFL 25 Anniversary Edition will include a unique code to access the 2013 regular season (17 weeks) trial of NFL Sunday Ticket on computers, tablets, and mobile devices- including access to the award-winning Red Zone Channel.
If still you have any concerns please contact us via phone we’ll provide the live assistance. Here are our customer service phone numbers:
– U.S. and Canada: 1-866-216-1072
– International: 1-206-266-2992
We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You can also click the “Contact Us” button on any Help page (www.amazon.com/help), enter your phone number through the Phone tab, and we’ll call you. Contacting us through the website ensures that we have your account information ready when we call.
We look forward to seeing you again soon.
Those who contacted DirectTV by phone received answers that indicated this offer will not work without subscribing to DirectTV unless you fall into a small group of people who cannot have DirectTV where they live. Those who received written responses from DirectTV and Amazon were told that you can indeed sign up for the NFL Sunday Ticket offer and access it from your computer or mobile device without signing up for a subscription to DirectTV. Are you confused yet? I know I am.
This offer is completely convoluted. It falls on the heels of some other EA Sports marketing misfires. Recently Madden 25 had two deadlines for information that was being released pushed back without any explanation given to consumers who had been waiting for the information. I believe this offer has really left most consumers with more questions than answers.
I believe that this offer will probably work. What EA is unofficially saying and the written response of the DirectTV representative seem to be in agreement. However, the official language on the offer gives DirectTV an out if they decide to change their mind. It is clear that DirectTV hopes this offer will gain them new subscribers. If it doesn’t meet their expectations, there is nothing stopping them from requiring your DirectTV status to be validated before your code will work. Other apps already do this.
Right now, this offer is a $40 gamble. While it seems the odds are on your side, DirectTV have left themselves with an ace up their sleeve that could change the game at any minute. This all could have been avoided by making the offer much clearer. Either DirectTV wants the option to require validation if they change their mind or this is really a poorly written offer.
How confident are you that this offer will work for you? Let me know on Twitter @cavemangamer or in the comments below.