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NFL extends deal with DirecTV; Sunday Ticket to be available on broadband

The NFL announced an agreement to extend DirecTV's rights to carry NFL Sunday Ticket on Monday. DirecTV will continue to have exclusive television rights to air the package of Sunday afternoon games through the 2014 season.

The agreement also significantly broadens the reach of NFL Sunday Ticket by enabling NFL fans that can't receive DirecTV satellite service to get NFL Sunday Ticket via broadband. This service will begin no later than 2012.

Primetime games announced

The NFL announced the primetime games for the kickoff weekend and Thanksgiving Day games, which include the Super Bowl champion Steelers hosting the Titans to open the season. **More ...**

In addition, the NFL will offer fans (also no later than 2012) a new "Red Zone Channel" that shows crucial live action cut-ins of all Sunday afternoon games starting at 1 p.m. ET and continuing through the conclusion of the 4 p.m. ET games. The "Red Zone Channel" will be available to cable, telco and satellite systems, wireless devices and online.

"We are pleased to extend a partnership with DirecTV that has complemented and supported our broadcast television packages for 15 years," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "We are looking forward to having the Red Zone channel on cable and other media platforms as well as showing NFL Sunday Ticket via broadband to the homes that cannot get satellite. This new content enhances our tradition of being the most pro-consumer, widely available sport on television."

Among the new features for fans are:

» Red Zone Channel: Subscribers who do not have DirecTV will have access to the "Red Zone" channel through local cable systems or telco, satellite systems and Internet providers. This special channel has been part of NFL Sunday Ticket on DirecTV the past four seasons and will continue for those subscribers. It provides live look-ins and real-time highlights from every Sunday afternoon game starting at 1 p.m. (ET) through the late afternoon games. The channel switches from game to game and airs live action when a team is in the red zone (inside the 20-yard line) and poised to score. A host also provides real-time scoring and fantasy updates.

» NFL Sunday Ticket on Broadband: Fans who live in areas where DirecTV's service is not available, such as apartment buildings or in residences with poor sightlines to a satellite signal, will be able to purchase a new NFL Sunday Ticket broadband package.

DirecTV customers who purchase NFL Sunday Ticket™ and the SuperFan™ package receive all Sunday afternoon games in HD; a "Game Mix" channel with up to eight games on one screen; the Red Zone Channel; the SUPERCAST™ service that streams every live NFL Sunday Ticket™ broadcast to laptop computers and the NNFL Sunday Ticket™ Mobile service that delivers up-to-the-minute highlights and soon full-length games to cell phones, pda's and other wireless devices.

DirecTV also announced it has extended its carriage agreement with NFL Network, which will continue to be offered in DirecTV's "choice" package.

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