SBD/Issue 238/Sports Media

Sunday Ticket Latest Sports Package To Be Offered Online


NFL fans "who have coveted watching the NFL Sunday Ticket package, which has long been available only on satellite on DirecTV, can buy it starting next month online for $350," according to Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES. The price is $50 more than "first-time buyers of the service on DirecTV are paying to watch the out-of-market games and $30 more than existing customers are being charged." The service "will send streaming video of the games and the Red Zone channel to computers and a range of mobile devices, including the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/25). MULTICHANNEL NEWS' R. Thomas Umstead reports the broadband Sunday Ticket is the "latest attempt by one of the big four pro sports leagues to play in the live-game streaming arena." DirecTV Senior Dir of Sports Marketing Alex Kaplan noted that the company in '07 "began streaming live NFL games as part of a premium, $99 upgrade for subscribers already purchasing its $300 linear Sunday Ticket package." Kaplan said that the service "has since generated 'fairly significant' growth in subscriber usage for the streaming package and has delivered incremental revenue for DirecTV and the league." Umstead notes Kaplan "still sees the broadband NFL Sunday Ticket package as a compliment to its linear package and not a substitute for watching the package on television." However, other leagues "see broadband packages more as revenue generators." The NHL's GameCenter Live online package "provides fans with multiple camera angles for one game a night," and NHL Senior VP/Direct & Digital Marketing and Fan Analytics Perry Cooper said that the league "experienced a 25% increase in subscription sales for the 2009-10 package compared to last season." Meanwhile, NBA Digital Senior VP & GM Bryan Perez said that the league "garnered 'significant' sales for its inaugural 2009-10 NBA League Pass Broadband Package." Umstead notes MLB "has been among the most successful thus far in pitching its online out-of-market package to consumers," as MLB.TV generated "more than 500,000 subscribers during the 2009 season" (MULTICHANNEL NEWS, 8/23 issue).

YET TO CROSS THE ATLANTIC: The GUARDIAN's Josh Halliday noted new research indicates a "distinct lack of appetite for internet streaming of football matches" in the U.K. Only 2% of respondents to a joint YouGov and SMG Insight survey of 2,122 British adults said that they were "likely to stream football over a home computer." The results come "just as the Football League looks to the web for new revenue streams." The survey also indicated that one-third of 18-to-34-year-olds plan to watch EPL games "outside the home this season, with 23% opting for a pub or club and 11% saying they are most likely to watch a game at a friend's house." Meanwhile, 51% of respondents aged 18-34 said that they intend to watch EPL games at home, compared with 84% of respondents aged 45 or older (, 8/23).

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