DirecTV Jazzes Up ‘Sunday Ticket’


DirecTV Inc. said it is adding some interactive elements to its exclusive “NFL Sunday Ticket” National Football League out-of-market package.

The direct-broadcast satellite company said it is adding additional game channels where viewers will be able to watch one game and get real-time scores, red-zone alerts and time clocks from all other games -- “all on one screen in an L-wrap format.”

The enhanced games -- which can be viewed on channels 702-705 -- include real-time clocks for each game and color-coded indicators that will alert viewers to the start of the game, which team has possession of the ball and when a team has scored, DirecTV said.

DirecTV also stole some thunder from Comcast Corp., which announced a deal with the NFL earlier this week to offer video-on-demand customers highlights from NFL games each week.

The DBS provider said late Wednesday that Sunday Ticket subscribers who have digital-video recorders would be able to view two-minute highlights from NFL games that will be automatically downloaded to their DVRs.

James Brown, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson -- NFL announcers for DirecTV’s News Corp. sibling, Fox Broadcasting Co. -- will also provide wrap-ups for all of the games to Sunday Ticket customers who own DVRs, DirecTV said.

The DBS company also rolled out a new “GameTracker” feature for Sunday Ticket, which will allow subscribers to get alerts via e-mail “when games heat up so that they can tune to the right game at all of the key moments.”

Cable-industry executives have been waiting for DirecTV to roll out new interactive-TV features since the company was taken over by News Corp., which offers several interactive-TV services on its satellite services in Europe, Asia and Australia. Wednesday’s announcement from DirecTV may signal the beginning of a series of new interactive-TV features that it could offer to subscribers.