EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 8, 2004--
DIRECTV Will Develop and Dramatically Expand NFL SUNDAY TICKET Package
with Advanced New Interactive Features and Programming Services
DIRECTV, Inc., the nation's leading digital television service
provider, today announced a five-year $3.5 billion agreement with the
National Football League to extend and expand DIRECTV's exclusive
rights to carry NFL SUNDAY TICKET, the leading sports subscription
television package in the United States. DIRECTV will continue to have
exclusive multichannel television rights to air NFL SUNDAY TICKET
games through the 2010 season.
"NFL SUNDAY TICKET, which has been a cornerstone of our success,
is the most distinguishing and important programming service available
on DIRECTV, and we are thrilled to extend and expand our long-standing
partnership with the NFL," said Chase Carey, president and CEO of The
DIRECTV Group. "As an exclusive programming package, NFL SUNDAY TICKET
has helped define us as a leader in multichannel television. With the
enhancements that we will make to NFL SUNDAY TICKET we will recreate
the NFL viewing experience -- an experience that only DIRECTV, not
cable or other competitors, will be able to offer sports fans."
The new agreement gives DIRECTV the right to develop and
dramatically expand the NFL SUNDAY TICKET package, as well as
introduce innovative new features, interactive services and expanded
programming for NFL SUNDAY TICKET subscribers. Highlights include:
-- In addition to the standard NFL SUNDAY TICKET package, DIRECTV
will offer a premium NFL SUNDAY TICKET package. NFL SUNDAY
TICKET customers who subscribe to the premium package will
have access to new interactive services and viewer-selected
camera angles and replays. Subscribers to the premium NFL
SUNDAY TICKET package will also have access to a new "Red
Zone" channel, which will be devoted to switching from game to
game for all the best live action and replays from any NFL
SUNDAY TICKET game. The premium package will also provide
viewers with the ability to index, search for, and view, plays
of a specific NFL player, team or play-type from games played
that Sunday. This will provide viewers with the power to
create a personalized highlight show of their own fantasy
-- DIRECTV has an exclusive opportunity to develop and
distribute, for the first time, enhanced and exclusive
versions of NFL postseason games, including the Super Bowl.
-- DIRECTV 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 DVR hard drives.
-- DIRECTV will also have the right to provide remote access to
NFL SUNDAY TICKET games and content to SUNDAY TICKET
subscribers via broadband or wireless devices.
-- DIRECTV will have access to, and plans to distribute, every
NFL SUNDAY TICKET game produced in high-definition format, in
addition to the standard-definition productions.
DIRECTV plans to offer a broader array of new interactive video
and football-related features to NFL SUNDAY TICKET customers, such as
a NFL SUNDAY TICKET mosaic channel that will show multiple games on
one screen, making it easier for a viewer to select which game to
watch. DIRECTV will also have the right to distribute an exclusive
fantasy football show with NFL footage each week, as well as create
virtual interactive game elements that would allow viewers -- using an
interactive screen overlay that simulates game action -- to play along
with a game. In addition, DIRECTV has greater marketing, advertising
and sponsorship rights for NFL SUNDAY TICKET.
Under this agreement, DIRECTV has also extended its carriage
agreement with NFL Network, the year-round television programming
service fully dedicated to the NFL.
"Our DIRECTV partnership complements and supports our broadcast
television packages," said NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. "DIRECTV
has been a great partner and this new agreement expands our joint
commitment to the ongoing development of innovative ways for fans to
enjoy the NFL."
Carey concluded, "The NFL SUNDAY TICKET package offers unrivaled
NFL action and is a dream come true for football fans, and going
forward we will be at the forefront of delivering the most advanced,
compelling and entertaining programming service to our subscribers."
NFL SUNDAY TICKET subscribers see the biggest selection of NFL
games available anywhere each and every Sunday during the 17-week
Analyst Conference Call Information
DIRECTV will host a conference call tomorrow for analysts
concerning today's announcement. The call will begin at 8:00 am ET.
The dial-in number is 913.981.5591 (confirmation code is 997219). A
replay is scheduled to run from 11:00 am ET tomorrow until 11:59 pm ET
on November 13. The replay numbers are 888.203.1112 and 719.457.0820,
pass code is 997219.
DIRECTV is the nation's leading digital multichannel television
service provider with more than 13.5 million customers. DIRECTV, Total
Choice and the Cyclone Design logo are registered trademarks of
DIRECTV, Inc., a unit of The DIRECTV Group Inc. (NYSE:DTV). The
DIRECTV Group is a world-leading provider of digital multichannel
television entertainment and broadband satellite networks and
services. The DIRECTV Group is 34 percent owned by Fox Entertainment
Group, which is approximately 82 percent owned by News Corporation
Ltd. For more information visit www.directv.com.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT CONCERNING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
NOTE: This release may contain statements that we believe are, or
may be considered to be, "forward-looking statements" within the
meaning of various provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 and of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements
generally can be identified by use of the statements that include
phrases such as we "expect," "plan," or other similar words or
phrases. Similarly, statements that describe our objectives, plans or
goals also are forward-looking statements. All of these
forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and
uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially
from the expected results expressed or implied by the relevant
CONTACT: DIRECTV, Inc.
Bob Marsocci, 310-726-4656
SOURCE: DIRECTV, Inc.