DirecTV’s NFL deal includes ‘Red Zone’ channel

Tue, 03/24/2009 - 8:35am
Barry Wilner, The Associated Press

DANA POINT, Calif. (AP) – DirecTV has extended its deal with the NFL for Sunday afternoon games through 2014, an agreement worth $4 billion to the league.

A person familiar with the contract, who spoke anonymously because no one has been authorized to reveal the figures, told The Associated Press on Monday that the deal was for $1 billion a year for four years, up from an average of $700 million per season in the previous deal.

That's very good news for the NFL during the current dreary economic climate.

"We are pleased to extend a partnership with DirecTV that has complemented and supported our broadcast television packages for 15 years," commissioner Roger Goodell said. "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 (beginning in 2012)."

Under terms of the deal with the satellite carrier, the "Red Zone" channel that shows live cut-ins from all Sunday afternoon games will be available to cable TV, wireless devices and the Internet.

The broadband portion of the new contract is significant because many areas, particularly apartment buildings or residences surrounded by trees, can't get a satellite signal.

Also extended was DirecTV's agreement to carry NFL Network.

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