SBJ/August 13 - 19, 2007/This Weeks News

Kangaroo, DirecTV push stadium test to Seattle, Houston

DirecTV and Kangaroo Media have expanded their in-stadium test to four NFL teams this season, up from two last year.

Handheld with Sunday Ticket is
already in Washington and Miami.

The service, which allows fans in the stadium to follow Sunday Ticket via a handheld device that weighs 14 ounces, added the Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks to the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins.

After last year’s pilot, Kangaroo cut a two-year deal with DirecTV to continue the service, but the company does not have the resources to roll it out leaguewide. It will have eight kiosks renting the handhelds at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. The other three stadiums will have four kiosks.

Kangaroo officials said that while they were pleased with last year’s performance — where usage figures increased each game — they are cutting the price by 38 percent to get more users. This year, the service will be offered for $24.95 a game, or $149.95 for a full-season plan. Season-ticket holders and DirecTV subscribers will pay $119.95 for the season — with season-ticket discounts for online orders only. Last year, the Kangaroo service cost $39.95 a game.

Kangaroo found price resistance at the $40 price point, which users equated with the price of a game ticket.

NFL teams don’t share in the rental revenue, but usually strike advertising deals with both DirecTV and Kangaroo to promote the service.

Kangaroo executives would not release specific usage numbers, instead quoting surveys that said 86 percent of users thought the device improved their game experience, and 81 percent were likely to rent it again.

Kangaroo will offer fans access to DirecTV’s SuperFan package, and by midseason it plans to add DVR functionality.

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