DirecTV Punches NFL ‘Ticket’ for Consoles

Aims ‘NFL Sunday Ticket TV' At Apartment-Dwellers, College Students
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DirecTV is expanding distribution of its “NFL Sunday Ticket” out-of-market package to the Xbox One and PlayStation gaming consoles, offering access to both its own subscribers and select non- DirecTV National Football League fans.

NFLSundayTicket.TV will allow consumers who live where DirecTV satellite service is unavailable to stream the package via Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 consoles, chief content officer Dan York said. DirecTV is targeting apartment-dwellers and fans in New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco who, for technical reasons, can’t receive the service via satellite.

Those consumers would pay $239 for the full NFLSunday- Ticket.TV package or $199 to receive Sunday Ticket on their mobile phones and tablets.

The network will also offer the NFLSundayTicket.TV product to 10 universities, including the University of Southern California, Harvard, Ohio State, Syracuse and the University of Washington. College students will receive a $50 discount, York said.

DirecTV first offered NFL Sunday Ticket to select non-DirecTV subscribers in 2009. York would not reveal how many non-DirecTV subscribers purchased the package last year.

“We’re taking a look at the offer closely — the only way you can access [NFLSundayTicket.TV] is if you are proven ineligible to be able to get a dish on your roof,” York said. “This is only for people who can’t get DirecTV.”

DirecTV satellite subscribers can use their console to watch games as part of the “NFL Sunday Ticket Max” package, which costs $329, up from $299 last year.

Along with gaming console access, The Sunday Ticket Max package includes the NFL RedZone channel, which offers lookins to ongoing games when scoring plays are imminent; a new FantasyZone channel, featuring Fantasy Football statistics and game information during Sunday action; and access to all live-game telecasts on various platforms including mobile phones, iPads and, for the first time, Windows-based computers.

“The nice thing about the additions is that it gets the product to the TV, as well as to other mobile devices,” York said.

DirecTV will also offer a more basic NFL Sunday Ticket package priced at $239 — up from $225 in 2013 — that offers the live NFL games as well as a mosaic channel with as many as eight games on-screen.

York would not disclose how many DirecTV subscribers purchased NFL Sunday Ticket, but industry sources peg the number at more than 2 million buyers.

DirecTV will also roll out a separate mobile app for the package that will provide statistics, player information and other NFL data.

DirecTV will also partner with the NFL on a new daily talk show, The Rich Eisen Show, to air on DirecTV’s Audience Network beginning Oct. 6. The live three-hour show, to air Monday through Friday, features the NFL Network host talking football with guests, players and executives.

York said the show will complement NFL Sunday Ticket as well as DirecTV’s other sports talk show, The Dan Patrick Show.

“Rich Eisen has had a very successful podcast so he has a lot of followers,” York said. “We said, let’s do the same thing but for our on air.”

York would not comment on DirecTV’s current negotiations with the league on renewing the exclusive NFL Sunday Ticket package, which expires at the end of this year.

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