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League's New DirecTV Deal Sets Stage For NFLN Breakthrough?

The National Football League unexpectedly announced on Monday an agreement to extend its contract with DirecTV through 2014.
And the new contract contains a provision that could help the league put NFL Network onto more of the major cable systems.
The kicker is that the Red Zone Channel, an excellent series of live-game look-ins hosted by Andrew Siciliano of FOX, will be made available no later than 2012 to cable systems, other satellite providers, and the Internet.
Thus, though the league continues to reserve the exclusive package of Sunday afternoon games to DirecTV, which has hosted the package since its inception in 1994, cable providers like Comcast and Time Warner will be able to provide NFL fans with the ability to continuously tour the various league’s games from 1:00 p.m. ET until well after 7:00 p.m. ET.
With Comcast and NFLN poised to divorce completely in the near future (multiple readers have advised us that Comcast already is making noise to its subscribers about the possible departure of NFLN from the choice of channels), the availability of the Red Zone Channel could be the leverage that the league needs to get cable companies interested in finding a way to provide both NFLN and the Red Zone Channel to its subscribers.
The downside?  FOX and CBS might be more than a bit uncomfortable about the possibility that folks who would be watching the games offered in their local markets on the traditional Sunday afternoon networks might flock to the potpourri of action provided by the Red Zone Channel.
It’s an issue that the league will have to confront when the deals with FOX and CBS expire after the 2011 season — or sooner if the league opts to launch the Red Zone Channel before then.
The new arrangement with DirecTV also will allow customers who can’t get the Sunday Ticket package via satellite to purchase it for viewing over the Internet.  This could unleash a flood of purchases from Americans living overseas, and/or from fans in other countries.

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47 Responses to “League's New DirecTV Deal Sets Stage For NFLN Breakthrough?”
  1. litzsout619 says: Mar 23, 2009 7:21 PM

    Big f-ing DEAL!!!

  2. Steelvike says: Mar 23, 2009 7:23 PM

    Meanwhile, Directv just keeps jacking up the price of Sunday Ticket season after season.

  3. sh00t4par says: Mar 23, 2009 7:25 PM

    As if the package didn’t cost me an arm and a leg already.

  4. RonO says: Mar 23, 2009 7:25 PM

    .. or those millions of Americans who can’t get DirectTV

  5. Autoriot says: Mar 23, 2009 7:26 PM

    DirectTV sucks @ss

  6. LiveNBreath Football says: Mar 23, 2009 7:29 PM

    Or people right here in the US who for various regions can’t get satellite (apartments facing the wrong way, no line of the sight, etc.).

  7. VegasChris says: Mar 23, 2009 7:35 PM

    You are right, Mike. Red Zone is excellent. Siciliano does a good job. He should be sponsored by Red Bull. I watch my team play on the TV, and Red Zone on my PC. Then, when my team is done, I watch Red Zone on the TV and switch from game to game on my PC.
    DirecTV is cool.

  8. avg1010 says: Mar 23, 2009 7:36 PM

    Already got word from Comcast that as of May 1 NFLN is no longer part of my “Sports Package” – wonder if I will get a reduced rate on the package now that it will be minus 1 station. Bet not!!!!
    Great job PFT – keep it up

  9. The Fun Bunch says: Mar 23, 2009 7:37 PM

    I’m an extremely happy DirecTV customer going on 5 years. I got it for the Sunday Ticket and haven’t entertained switching because of its exclusivity to DTV.
    The is actually big news, because of how good the Red Zone channel is. I live where my home team is, so I don’t need The Ticket to follow them. I’m a fantasy addict, and for my fix there’s nothing better than leaving the RZC on for 6 hours on Sunday. Andrew Siciliano is great (and I hate most sports “heads”) and the production value is excellent.
    If, in 2012, I can save a bunch of money with Cable or FiOS or whatever esle is out by then AND keep the RZC, I’ll probably do it. And so might many others who subscribed to — and have kept DTV solely for Sunday Ticket.

  10. ctfwest says: Mar 23, 2009 7:41 PM

    I love my direct tv. I will never pay a dime to Comcast my only other choice.

  11. sim448 says: Mar 23, 2009 7:43 PM

    comcast sucks

  12. sim448 says: Mar 23, 2009 7:46 PM

    had a dish, loved it, went to comcast due to condo, it is horrible. i had the ticket. going back to cable made me feel like one of those douche celebs after losing a bentley and who now drive focus’s…comcast is so expen$ive it isnt even funny

  13. Ralph GreNader says: Mar 23, 2009 7:47 PM

    DirecTV owns.
    Cable blows I can’t wait for time Warner to go under

  14. TheTylerRose-BestEver says: Mar 23, 2009 7:47 PM

    Hey Florio – Can you buy an internet subscription for DirecTV and post the login info here for all of us?
    Thanks!

  15. meefer says: Mar 23, 2009 7:48 PM

    I will pay for the internet only version if they can stream in near-HD quality (i.e. a whole hell of a lot better then the Sunday night games). I don’t need multiple cameras, I need better quality.

  16. SpartaChris says: Mar 23, 2009 7:57 PM

    >>RonO says:
    March 23rd, 2009 at 7:25 pm
    .. or those millions of Americans who can’t get DirectTV<<
    Bullshit. Everyone can get it, it really isn’t a problem. Even if your apartment faces the wrong way like ours did when we first got Direct TV, there are workarounds. And if for some reason you can’t find a workaround, you’re free to move. Put in a request to go to a building that faces the right way or just change apartments. It isn’t that big a deal.
    Why a company should be forced into running a business a specific way to cater to a small minority of people is beyond me.

  17. JSpicoli says: Mar 23, 2009 8:02 PM

    Isn’t there a FCC law that says something about Universal Access? WTF? This one issue is why I like Arlen Specter. He is trying to bust up the monopoly.

  18. JSpicoli says: Mar 23, 2009 8:03 PM

    Most apartments and condos don’t alow dishes anyway. they usually have some idiot board that just discovered cable and heard thinks satellite dishes are 10 feet wide.

  19. doliver says: Mar 23, 2009 8:10 PM

    Actually overseas folks can already get streaming games from NFL Game Pass on Yahoo, it’s just blocked to domestic IPs. Which makes the current monopoly all the more maddening for those who don’t have DirecTV.

  20. joetoronto says: Mar 23, 2009 8:11 PM

    I’ve had the Sunday Ticket since it’s inception and I really don’t even want to THINK about not having it.
    Whatever they decide to charge, I’ll pay it, with a smile.

  21. HarrisonHits says: Mar 23, 2009 8:14 PM

    So once again the NFL makes it so that the vast majority of Americans don’t have access to the full Sunday Ticket package while Canadian and Mexican fans can get it no matter what system they’re on in their countries. Great move NFL has anyone told you to GFY today ?
    This is the sort of thing that should make the politicians re-examine the NFL’s anti-trust exemption.

  22. David Diehlicious says: Mar 23, 2009 8:14 PM

    ##########################
    This could unleash a flood of purchases from Americans living overseas, and/or from fans in other countries.
    ##########################
    Mike… That’s already the case, since you can get the “Game Pass” (in HD quality) via NFL.com…
    http://www.nfl.com/gamepass

  23. pfeff says: Mar 23, 2009 8:19 PM

    You are right, Mike. Red Zone is excellent. Siciliano does a good job. He should be sponsored by Red Bull. I watch my team play on the TV, and Red Zone on my PC. Then, when my team is done, I watch Red Zone on the TV and switch from game to game on my PC.
    DirecTV is cool.
    Chris is right. I do the same things and Siciliano does an excellent job. Chris you forgot you have CBS Sportsline Gamecast also running in the background to find out other scores!
    I broke down this spring and bought a projection TV with a shitload of lumens and resolution and am going to watch gamemix. 8 games at once!
    Oh I should get cable or free tv like the whiners on this site! Doh!

  24. junior says: Mar 23, 2009 8:21 PM

    Siciliano is a douche!

  25. feje133 says: Mar 23, 2009 8:25 PM

    I lived in Ohio and grew up a Browns fan, moved to Florida last year and learned I can’t get a dish in a Condo or Apartment…tried signing up on NFL.COM and no dice… got to live over seas to subscribe…..give me a on line option that is reliable and I will pay….to those who say you can get DirectTV anywhere…lol….I got a bridge to sell; Interested?

  26. mr.fusion says: Mar 23, 2009 8:28 PM

    Ive got my PC hooked up to the bigscreen……screw brighthouse

  27. DarthJay says: Mar 23, 2009 8:34 PM

    “Meanwhile, Directv just keeps jacking up the price of Sunday Ticket season after season. ”
    Actually, you are full of shit. It has been the same price the last two years and will be the same price again this year. But hey, nice try.

  28. cptkangaroo says: Mar 23, 2009 8:36 PM

    you know doliver there’s way around the IP block.

  29. Vox Veritas says: Mar 23, 2009 8:48 PM

    DirecTV is great, Sunday Ticket and Superfan are the s hit, especially if you can get it free or at a discount.

  30. cincykid says: Mar 23, 2009 9:11 PM

    Wouldn’t the NFL make 100000000000 times the money if it offered it to cable tv too? I don’t understand the marketing mentality of the NFL. There are twice the amount of cable subs as dish and yet they refuse to make it avail to cable subs. Why?

  31. Murabma says: Mar 23, 2009 9:19 PM

    DirecTV blows–their customer service is absolutely dreadful. Not once, but twice I made appointment with them to get something fixed with my system and not only did they show up late, but they never showed up at all. Horrific, especially when you need to be home to let them in. That kind of monopoly customer service is what I thought antitrust laws were designed to stop. I have absolutely no doubt that that company would go under in 6 months or less if they lost the NFL Sunday Ticket’s exclusivity….

  32. Osiris333 says: Mar 23, 2009 9:28 PM

    Because they are blithering in-bred redneck idiots like Jerrah Jones or hand-wringing liberal wimps like Flori… uh, Roger Goodell.

  33. realityonetwo says: Mar 23, 2009 9:39 PM

    DarthJay says:
    March 23rd, 2009 at 8:34 pm
    “Meanwhile, Directv just keeps jacking up the price of Sunday Ticket season after season. ”
    Actually, you are full of shit. It has been the same price the last two years and will be the same price again this year. But hey, nice try.
    ————
    Actually, the price of watching did go up last year. They stuck us up for an extra Franklin to get the games in HD. At least the previous year you got to see one or two games in HD a week for the regular price. What evil bullshit will they come up with this fall?

  34. Bertil says: Mar 23, 2009 9:46 PM

    “Wouldn’t the NFL make 100000000000 times the money if it offered it to cable TV too? I don’t understand the marketing mentality of the NFL. There are twice the amount of cable subs as dish and yet they refuse to make it avail to cable subs. Why?”
    Why, because scarcity drives up value.
    Watch the opposite happen after those trillions of Fed/Obama-generated dollars hit the market. Your own dollar is going to go down faster than Monica Lewinsky. Unlike Bill, you won’t be pleased…
    The NFL is sole-sourcing a lot of it’s products. Didn’t you see what happened with EA Sports and the Madden franchise. They aced out the (IMO) better 2K Sports product. The game suffered as a result. They don’t care a whit about the quality of the game. They care about $!
    It’s simple supply and demand. Limiting supply, drives up demand. That’s highly simplistic, but they’re doing it to the extent that they can. Obviously there’ll be diminishing returns if they push it too far.

  35. neutral_like_sweden says: Mar 23, 2009 9:52 PM

    Is this the first post that doesn’t feature ALL-CAPS TITLES in the RSS feed?

  36. Apacheman says: Mar 23, 2009 10:04 PM

    Just get a SlingBox and hook it in to a relative or friend. That’s what I did when I was in Korea…

  37. DJSlyBri says: Mar 23, 2009 10:25 PM

    I lived in Ohio and grew up a Browns fan, moved to Florida last year and learned I can’t get a dish in a Condo or Apartment…
    If some jango from the apartment complex told you that time to call a lawyer. There is a federal law prohibiting them from keeping yuou from getting DirectTv. I actually made a comment in pasing to a couple guys and they hired me on the spot to kick the asses of their apartment managers. They had Sunday Ticket before the next Sunday.

  38. dolphin fan says: Mar 23, 2009 10:36 PM

    I got Sunday Ticket for the first time in 2007. I hated it because the Dolphins LOST EVERY GAME I WATCHED! It got better last year however.

  39. spyboots says: Mar 23, 2009 10:49 PM

    @ DarthJay
    Maybe it didn’t go up where YOU live, but it did where I live.

  40. joetoronto says: Mar 24, 2009 6:43 AM

    I’m not into fantasy football at all but for those who are, the “Superfan” option gives you a “Player Tracker” that’s really cool.
    You type in the names of players on your team and whenever one of them scores points, you get an alert on the bottom of your screen.

  41. egypt123 says: Mar 24, 2009 7:35 AM

    Adios Comcrap.

  42. spongemikeflorio says: Mar 24, 2009 9:08 AM

    soon us dtv sunday tix subscirbers will be paying upwards of 500 bux a season

  43. OverUnder says: Mar 24, 2009 9:39 AM

    First off there are many US users…who CANNOT get Direct TV due to line of sight…including myself. I was a customer of Direct TV last year…and obviously a purchaser of Direct TV’s Sunday Ticket, and it was great.
    I now live in a house where the low lying trees do not allow for Direct TV.
    I need some sort of fix…It sucks not being able to see my Falcons games in Sunny Florida.

  44. db3300 says: Mar 24, 2009 11:04 AM

    I’ve had NFLN since it’s inception and all I can say is “BFD”. I wouldn’t miss it if it was gone. I can already get the information I want quicker than I can remember which of the 4000 channels it is on. Really, NFL, I just don’t care.

  45. ncpeters says: Mar 24, 2009 11:47 AM

    I would think this would make it less likely for cable systems to pick up NFLN. Comcast and Time Warner are already pissed about being lied to about being given the opportunity to bid for the Sunday Package last time the contract was expired, and they aren’t going to be happy that the NFL renewed the deal again without bidding on the open market. NFLN won’t be available wide until they realize they’re a niche network that has 8 programs people want to watch each year. They can’t ask to be priced like CNN or ESPN when they don’t have the content to back up that price.

  46. joetoronto says: Mar 24, 2009 12:22 PM

    OverUnder: Can you not take the dish out to the road?
    I had a tree problem too, up north at my vacation home, and I moved the dish back and just cleared the trees.
    db3300: It’s all good but most people here actually wanna WATCH the games. To me, the Sunday Ticket & The NFL Network ALONE would be reason enough to have Directv.
    To each his own.

  47. Steelvike says: Mar 24, 2009 4:27 PM

    Actually, you are full of shit. It has been the same price the last two years and will be the same price again this year. But hey, nice try.
    Wow, aren’t you the intelligent one. Let’s hide behind our computer and insult other people that post and feel like a “big man”. Not a very good try on your part. Just because your parents haven’t increased your rent, doesn’t mean the cost of the ticket hasn’t gone up. Maybe if you come out from your parent’s basement and ask to see the bill for the “last two years” you’ll see that there is an increase every year.

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