DirecTV Sports Interactivity


DirecTV will take its interactive technology to the tennis courts as it teams up with NBC Universal to show viewers different takes of USA Network’s U.S. Open coverage on a single screen at the same time.

The direct-broadcast satellite service will also give fantasy-football fans updated statistics for up to nine players as part of its enhanced NFL Sunday Ticket out-of-market game package, according to David Feldstein, senior project manager and producer of DirecTV Interactive Services.

From Aug. 28-Sept. 1, DirecTV’s U.S. Open interactive coverage will provide all subscribers with five channels of tennis coverage daily encompassing nearly all of the matches played, Feldstein said.

In addition, a special U.S. Open Mix channel will feature all five channels, as well as USA’s own coverage, simultaneously.

Overall, DirecTV subscribers will have access to nearly 300 hours of tournament coverage and 100 additional matches.

Subscribers with interactive receivers will be able to take advantage of several other features, including the ability to highlight each frame on the mix channel to hear live audio from that specific match, then clicking to see the match full-screen.

Interactive-enabled subscribers will also have access to a half-screen overlay on both the U.S. Open Mix and the extra court channels featuring the previous day’s matches and current day’s match results. The overlay will also show the next day’s upcoming matchups.

As for NFL Sunday Ticket, the company will enhance the $249 subscription-priced package’s interactive elements by allowing customers to follow their fantasy-football players while watching their favorite teams on-screen.

The new Player Tracker feature allows the viewer to choose any nine offensive players from the afternoon’s games and track each player’s performance through real time, on-screen alerts.

In addition, consumers can access a statistical overlay that allows viewers to see the stats of each selected player.

Along with the fantasy-player stats, DirecTV is also broadening its overall statistical package for pro games. Subscribers will now have access to new statistical categories including first downs, third-down efficiency, interceptions/interception yards and fumbles/fumbles lost for each game. In addition, for each of the three main individual statistical categories -- rushing, passing and receiving -- a separate submenu will provide a statistical overlay for each game, listing the top four players in each of the three categories.

Finally, a “Today’s Best” tab will feature the top five performances by individual players in a particular day’s games for each of the three categories, Feldstein said.

For more on DirecTV Interactive Services, please see R. Thomas Umstead’s story on page three of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.