November 09, 2004

DirecTV keeps NFL Sunday Ticket exclusively through 2010

Despite speculation that NFL's Sunday Ticket satellite package might be expanded to Dish Network and digital cable, DirecTV signed a huge agreement with the League that grants them exclusive rights to NFL ST through at least the 2010 season.

In addition, DIRECTV also has extended its carriage agreement with NFL Network, the year-round television programming service fully dedicated to the NFL. NFL Network, which celebrated its one-year anniversary earlier this month, airs on channel 212 as part of DIRECTV's Total Choice basic package.

"Our DIRECTV partnership complements and supports our broadcast television packages," said NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. "DIRECTV has been a great partner and this new agreement expands our joint commitment to the ongoing development of innovative ways for fans to enjoy the NFL." The new agreement also has DirecTV developing and distributing enhanced NFL programming, including an "exclusive, expanded" edition of the Super Bowl. DirecTV will also provide a "premium" Sunday Ticket package over and above the "standard" package.

In addition to the standard NFL SUNDAY TICKET package, DIRECTV will offer a premium NFL SUNDAY TICKET package that will deliver enhanced interactive features and services, and expanded programming. For example, NFL SUNDAY TICKET customers who subscribe to the premium package will have access to new interactive services; and viewer-selected camera angles and replays. Subscribers to the premium NFL SUNDAY TICKET package will also have access to a new "Red Zone" channel, which will be devoted to switching from game to game to take viewers live to game telecasts when a team is in the red zone and is poised to score. The premium package will provide viewers with the ability to index, search for, and view plays of a specific NFL player, team or play-type from games played that Sunday.
This is huge -- especially for football fans like myself. Many people were anticipating the expansion of NFL ST to Dish Network and digital cable systems. This agreement keeps it only on DirecTV, and is a big coup for the NewsCorp-owned platform.

Posted by mhking at November 9, 2004 07:21 AM

Nuts. On one hand, I refuse to subscribe to DirecTV due to crummy customer service on their end the one time I actually tried.

On the other hand, missing out on 5-star football games because we have to watch the Falcons play the Cardinals is getting old.

Posted by: Gib at November 9, 2004 10:47 AM

This is dumb. I know there are lots of football fans like myself who have spent lots of money on Dish Network to be promised NFL ST will come soon. There are going to be a lot of dissapointing fans. Where I'm from Dish Network is by far the better service and most popular. Why would the NFL limit themselves. As many good things Paul has done this isn't one of them. Maybe he has stock in DirectTV.

Posted by: Rob at December 12, 2004 12:53 AM

I am DISHNETWORK customer. I am female and absolutely love the NFL. I cannot understand why the NFL feels DIRECTV is the only provider cable or satellite that has NFL fans. The NFL would do better for its fans to offer to all subscribers and let US choose....NOT THE NFL. Obviously, the NFL cares more about lining its pockets and DIRECTV pockets than the FANS!

Posted by: Lisa Frazier at August 26, 2005 12:06 PM
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