Cable Operators

DirecTV Sets ‘Ticket’ Blitz

8/02/2010 10:01 AM Eastern

DirecTV is backing an
enhanced “NFL Sunday Ticket”
offering with its largest advertising
campaign behind the out-ofmarket
pro-football package.
The top satellite TV provider
is melding four features previously
included in its SuperFan
tier into its base package offering,
priced at $300. Previously, SuperFan subscribers paid $99 on top
of their Sunday Ticket subscriber
price.
The more robust offering comes
as DirecTV, which counts some 2
million NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers,
faces more competition
for pro pigskin dollars from NFL
RedZone, the scoring highlights
channel that NFL Network rolled
out last season and included such
affiliates as Comcast, AT&T, Verizon
Communications and RCN,
among others. A league spokesman
said more deals, tied to carriage
of its NFL Network, had
been inked during the off season,
and negotiations continue with
other prospective carriers.

NFL.com is introducing a
streaming package of all 65 NFL
preseason games for $40 this
year.

Verizon, as the league’s new official wireless sponsor, also will
offer a cell phone version of NFL
RedZone this upcoming season,
under its NFL Mobile heading.

SUNDAY TICKET HIGHLIGHTS

Subscribers to DirecTV’s NFL
Sunday Ticket, which showcases
all of the pro football
league’s Sunday afternoon action,
now will receive the HD
Games, every Sunday NFL game
in the high-definition format;
the Game Mix, featuring up to
eight live games simultaneously,
replete with scores, clock and
field position on channel 702;
RedZone, access to every scoring
drive on channel 703; and
Short Cuts, 30-minute, commercial-
free cutdowns of every NFL
game on channels 704 and 705.

Sunday Ticket’s Emmy Awardwinning
Player Tracker and realtime
scores and stats are also
included.

“We’ve made every NFL Sunday
Ticket customer a ‘superfan’
this year by rolling in HD, Game
Mix, RedZone and Short Cuts to
the package at no extra charge,
taking the single most compelling
sports subscription service to another
level and creating the best
value in the 16-year history of this
exclusive package,” Derek Chang,
executive vice president, content
strategy and development for DirecTV,
said in a statement. “With
our brawnier NFL package and
our enhanced mobile and online
service that lets fans watch live
games wherever they are, there
is no better football viewing experience,
anywhere.” The service
is available to subscribers in five
increments of $59.99.

MOBILE ACCESS

Sunday Ticket subscribers will
have to pay an additional $50 if
they want access to the action on
their computer or cell phone.

The NFL Sunday Ticket To-
Go service, giving access to the
games online and via mobile devices
wherever they are, is available
through DirecTV.com to
users with a wide range of devices,
including the iPad; iPhone;
iPod Touch; Android or BlackBerry
smartphones with 3G or WiFi;
the Palm Pre and Pixi smartphone
models; and various Windows
Mobile devices. Enhancements
include improved video quality,
enhanced design, league and
team schedules, results, and instantaneous
stats.

Online users will have access
to new Game Mix and picture-inpicture
modes, plus DVR scheduling
for games and shortcuts.
NFL Sunday Ticket To-Go can
be purchased for five payments
of $9.95.

ADVERTISING PUSH

From an advertising perspective,
DirecTV will launch a campaign,
reportedly valued at some
$100 million, on Aug. 7 with nine
different commercials from the
DBS provider’s agency of record,
Deutsch.

Centering on the dedication of
fans, displaced and otherwise,
as well as Sunday Ticket’s portability,
the spots will run on CBS,
NBC, Fox and ESPN.

There is also a 40-page insert
in the Sept. 6 issue of Sports Illustrated,
the magazine’s pro football
preview issue, as well as quiz
material in the form of iAds on
iPhones and iPads.

DirecTV also will push a broadband
version of NFL Sunday Ticket
to apartment dwellers and
those with poor exposure to the
southern sky, about a week before
the first Sunday games on Sept.
12. Last year, the DBS leader tested
the service in Manhattan. The
purchase price is $350.

September