The National Football League has reached a four-year contract agreement with DirecTV for the leading satellite provider to remain the TV home for the Sunday Ticket package through 2014.
Announced during the NFL owners meeting in Dana Point, Calif., the pay-per-view pact, according to sources familiar with the negotiations, is valued at about $1 billion annually from 2011-2014. DirecTV currently pays some $700 million on its Sunday Ticket contract that expires after the 2010 season.
However, the agreement opens the door to a wider reach for the out-of-home package, which will become available to broadband subscribers that can't receive DirecTV. This service is aimed at those who reside in multi-unit dwellings or satellite customers with poor sightlines to a satellite signal.
This broader broadband service, according to league officials, would kick off no later than 2012. Currently, broadband coverage of the games is limited to those who purchase Sunday Ticket, and then pay an additional $99 for the broadband coverage of the contests.
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, gave the NFL a shout-out for their renewal.
"It is important for consumers to have enhanced viewing options,” said Hutchison in a statement late Monday. “The NFL and DirecTV have worked out an arrangement that will preserve, and even enhance the experience for millions of consumers without government intervention. It is also important that parties work together to find innovative ways to offer such content to areas where satellite service is unavailable.”
The NFL package has frequently surfaced in arguments about programming exclusivity, with cable operators battling the NFL Network over carriage often pointing out that they do not have access to the NFL Sunday Ticket.
John Eggerton contributed to this report.
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