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DirecTV Gets Game On With Sports ScoreGuide

DirecTV Monday launched an interactive TV application, called ScoreGuide, which lets viewers track live scores of major sporting events and tune to directly to channels broadcasting the games.

The satellite operator's subscribers will be alerted to ScoreGuide by a small on-screen icon. The feature is available on DirecTV's more than 200 sports channels, including regional sports networks, subscription channels (channels 700-799), and national sports cable networks like ESPN.

With ScoreGuide, DirecTV wants to reinforce its sports programming lineup, which the operator has positioned as a competitive differentiator. Sports packages include the exclusive NFL Sunday Ticket, which DirecTV recently renewed with the league for $4 billion through 2014.

ScoreGuide will provide scores and start times for NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL matchups, as well as the top 25 college football and basketball games, late-round Grand Slam tennis matches and PGA Tour majors. The satellite operator said it will add NASCAR races next season.

DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer said the ScoreGuide application was developed in-house. He declined to name the data provider for the scoring information.

The free feature displays sporting events in progress, as well as upcoming daily and weekly events; weekly events will be updated every Thursday. The app can be minimized to show just one game at a time, to let a viewer follow a game while watching another channel.

ScoreGuide also shows DirecTV channel numbers associated with televised events and allows customers to tune to those channels using their remote control.