DirecTV Raises NFL Sunday Ticket Rates

DirecTV is raising the price of its popular NFL Sunday Ticket by between 5% and 7% for the 2015 season, perhaps an effort to help offset some of the estimated $12 billion the satellite TV company paid to keep the out-of-market pro football package exclusive for the next eight years.

DirecTV will raise rates for its basic 2015 Sunday Ticket package – including all out-of-market Sunday NFL games, the Ticket Mix Channel and on-screen stats –5% to $251.94 from $239.94 for the 2014 regular season. Charges for its Sunday Ticket Max Plan – which also The Red Zone Channel, DirecTV Fantasy Channel , the Short Cuts feature and the ability to stream games on multiple devices – rise 7% to $353.94 from $329.94 in the prior year.

News of the price hike was first reported by TV

DirecTV renewed its Sunday Ticket deal with the National Football League in October, an eight-year deal that was estimated to be worth $12 billion, or about $1.5 billion per year. That’s up from the estimated $1 billion per season DirecTV paid the NFL for the nine-year pact that expired after the 2014 regular season.

Renewing the Sunday Ticket deal was a condition of DirecTV’s pending acquisition by AT&T. That deal is expected to close later in the year.

In a separate announcement, DirecTV said it would add The Longhorn Network to its lineup beginning Jan. 21. The network, devoted 24/7 to The University of Texas, is owned by ESPN. DirecTV said in a statement the agreement to carry the network was part of a larger carriage agreement with ESPN parent, The Walt Disney Co.

Longhorn Network will be available to DirecTV customers in Texas on channel 677 in the Choice package or above, and nationwide for customers who subscribe to the DirecTV Sports Pack. In addition, DirecTV customers who receive LHN as part of their satellite service will soon be able to enjoy the network’s exclusive live events and content via WatchESPN on their computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices – at home or on the go.  DirecTV is expected to offer WatchESPN beginning in late February or early March and will be available on DirecTV Everywhere shortly thereafter.

The Longhorn Network launched in 2011 and televises more than 175 athletic events in 20 sports annually, as well as academic and cultural programming from in and around the greater Austin community. DirecTV customers have access to exclusive Longhorn games, Texas coaches’ shows, dedicated pre- and post-game football coverage, basketball and baseball games, nightly news/information programming, in-depth features and all-access content and programs covering the history and pride of Texas athletics.