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NFL May Opt Out of DirecTV Deal for Sunday Ticket

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Pro Football Talk is reporting that the NFL is considering exercising an option in its contract with DirecTV that would allow the league to end it’s deal with the satellite provider at the end of next season. If that happens, the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket would hit the open market for the first time since 1994. If it doesn’t, the two sides will have a deal in place through the 2022 season.

The emergence of Red Zone has made the NFL Sunday Ticket price hard to swallow for some DirecTV subscribers. Now that Red Zone is available without the Sunday Ticket subscription, the NFL will need to readjust its pricing model to make the larger package as appealing as it once was.

Despite the $400 price tag for a full season scaring off some potential subscribers, there will still be plenty of suitors for NFL Sunday Ticket when it hits the open market. Awful Announcing’s Phillip Bupp writes that the league expects its suitors to be diverse.

Not only would every cable or satellite company want to pick up the package, but any number of streaming companies would likely be interested. Sports streaming services like ESPN+, B/R Live, or DAZN could be interested. Social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook could be in the mix. Other digital outlets without a focus on sports, like Amazon, Yahoo, Google, Apple, or Verizon, could all take a look.

Mike Florio’s initial report at Pro Football Talk stresses that the NFL is still weighing its options. There has been no firm plan made for opting out of the current deal with DirecTV.

 

Sports TV News

CBS Will Work Around New Big Ten, Outgoing SEC Contracts

Dellenger reports the Big Ten’s deal will allow CBS to air their final season of the SEC during the first year of the contract, but said details weren’t provided.

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In a wide-ranging story Thursday, Sports Illustrated‘s Ross Dellenger revealed a college football media nugget that many had questioned.

CBS, who is expected to announce an upcoming deal with the Big Ten, is reportedly “double booked” for their 3:30 ET games in 2023.

The SEC’s deal with CBS, which ends after the 2023 season, is an exclusive game aired at 3:30 ET. The Big Ten’s deal with CBS, which begins for the 2023 season, is an exclusive game aired at 3:30 ET. Dellenger reports the Big Ten’s deal will allow CBS to air their final season of the SEC during the first year of the contract, but said details weren’t provided.

The situation isn’t ideal for the Big Ten or it’s new media partners CBS, NBC, or Fox. NBC is alleged to have secured a primetime Big Ten game, so any workaround involving CBS would likely see the Big Ten featuring two games on network TV simultaneously, with either an additional game at Noon ET competing with Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff or in primetime competing against NBC’s newly acquired rights.

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Sports TV News

Sports Media React to FOX’s Hologram Harry Caray

FOX’s use of a hologram Harry Caray for the 7th Inning Stretch of the Field of Dreams Game received mixed reviews.

Jordan Bondurant

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Harry Caray

The annual Field of Dreams game took center stage on Thursday night, and FOX incorporated legendary Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray into their coverage.

Earlier in the evening, news surfaced that FOX was going to use a hologram version of Caray during the 7th inning stretch, playing a recording of Caray singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

Darren Rovell had an inside scoop and tweeted that the display could be deemed offensive.

The segment happened, and the reaction by those in sports media, including those in Cincinnati and Chicago, was about what you’d expect.

There were a couple who didn’t take issue with the gesture.

Others couldn’t help but come with jokes.

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UNLV To Air Games on New TV Network

UNLV sports will begin to appear on the Silver State Sports & Entertainment Network beginning this season.

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In the world of expanding television rights and continued attempts to get collegiate sports broadcast on television, UNLV sports has a new way to get their athletics to viewers in the Las Vegas area.

UNLV sports will begin to appear on the Silver State Sports & Entertainment Network beginning this season. The network is a creation of KVVU-TV, Leas Vegas‘ FOX affiliate.

The network will concentrate on sports other than football and men’s basketball, but will air select football and men’s basketball games that are not picked up by network TV. The network plans to air more than 100 UNLV home contests.

“I think it’s great for our exposure, especially for many of our Olympic sports that haven’t had a broadcast avenue outside of streaming,” women’s basketball coach Lindy La Rocque said. “The UNLV fans who live in Vegas now have an easy way to follow along when they can’t physically make it to a game. And I think we’ll pick up some new fans, who may have only seen football or men’s hoops before, to be proud of what our teams accomplish.”

“So we’re giving air time to sports that usually don’t get it,” KVVU vice president and general manager Michael Korr said.

The network, which launched in mid-June, will also air 12 games involving historically Black colleges and universities.

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