NFL grants five-year rights extension to DIRECTV for $3.5 billion

DIRECTV and the National Football League have reached a five-year, $3.5 billion agreement to extend and expand DIRECTV's exclusive rights to carry NFL Sunday Ticket.

DIRECTV will continue to have exclusive multichannel television rights to air NFL Sunday Ticket games through the 2010 season.

The new agreement gives the satellite provider the right to develop and expand the NFL Sunday Ticket package. Highlights include:

  • A premium package offering access to interactive features, such as the ability to choose camera angles and replays. NFL Sunday Ticket package subscribers will have access to a new "Red Zone" channel that allows viewers to switch between games when a team is in the red zone and poised to score.
  • An exclusive opportunity to develop and distribute enhanced and exclusive versions of NFL postseason games, including the Super Bowl.
  • The right to provide remote access to NFL Sunday Ticket games and content to Sunday Ticket subscribers via broadband or wireless devices.
  • Access to, and plans to distribute, every Sunday Ticket game produced in high-definition, in addition to the standard-definition productions.
  • 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 DVRs.

DIRECTV will offer premium NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers a mosaic channel that will show multiple games on one screen, making it easier for a viewer to select which game to watch. While the league has granted rights for interactive offerings, it’s unlikely they’ll show up before the beginning of the 2006 season.

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