*DIRECTV Will Develop and Expand NFL SUNDAY TICKET Package with Advanced New Interactive Features
and Programming Services *
DIRECTV, Inc., the nation's leading digital television service provider, and the National Football League announced today a five-year $3.5 billion agreement to extend and expand DIRECTV's exclusive rights to carry NFL SUNDAY TICKET, the leading sports subscription television package in the United States. DIRECTV will continue to have exclusive multichannel television rights to air NFL SUNDAY TICKET games through 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."
"NFL SUNDAY TICKET, which has been a cornerstone of our success, is the most distinguishing and important programming service available on DIRECTV, and we are thrilled to renew and extend our long-standing partnership with the NFL," said CHASE CAREY, president and CEO of The DIRECTV Group. "As an exclusive programming package, NFL SUNDAY TICKET has helped define us as a leader in multichannel television. With the enhancements that we will make to NFL SUNDAY TICKET we will recreate the NFL viewing experience-an experience that only DIRECTV will be able to offer sports fans."
The new agreement gives DIRECTV the right to develop and expand the NFL SUNDAY TICKET package by introducing innovative new features, enhanced interactive services and expanded programming for NFL SUNDAY TICKET subscribers.
-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.
-DIRECTV has an exclusive opportunity to develop and distribute, for the first time, enhanced and exclusive versions of NFL post-season games, including the Super Bowl.
-DIRECTV customers with a digital video recorder (DVR) who currently receive the highlights on demand feature will receive expanded and unique NFL-related content and highlights downloaded to their DVR hard drives.
-DIRECTV will also have the right to provide remote access to NFL SUNDAY TICKET games and content to SUNDAY TICKET subscribers via broadband or wireless devices.
-DIRECTV will have access to, and plans to distribute, every NFL SUNDAY TICKET game produced in high-definition format, in addition to the standard- definition productions.
DIRECTV plans to offer a broader array of new interactive video and football-related features to premium NFL SUNDAY TICKET customers, such as a NFL SUNDAY TICKET mosaic channel that will show multiple games on one screen, making it easier for a viewer to select which game to watch. DIRECTV will also have the right to distribute an exclusive fantasy football show with NFL footage each season, as well as create virtual interactive game elements that would allow viewers-using an interactive screen overlay that simulates game action-to play along with a game. In addition, DIRECTV has greater marketing, advertising and sponsorship rights for NFL SUNDAY TICKET.
Carey concluded, "The NFL SUNDAY TICKET package offers unrivaled NFL action and is a dream come true for football fans, and going forward we will be at the forefront of delivering the most advanced, compelling and entertaining programming service to our subscribers."
NFL SUNDAY TICKET subscribers see the biggest selection of NFL games available anywhere each and every Sunday during the 17-week regular season.
DIRECTV is the nation's leading digital multichannel television service provider with more than 13.5 million customers. DIRECTV, Total Choice and the Cyclone Design logo are registered trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc., a unit of The DIRECTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV). The DIRECTV Group is a world-leading provider of digital multichannel television entertainment and broadband satellite networks and services. The DIRECTV Group is 34 percent owned by Fox Entertainment Group, which is approximately 82 percent owned by News Corporation Ltd. For more information visit www.directv.com.