By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, I’m assuming the DIRECTV deal to have the Sunday Ticket in bars means it will have the RedZone channel, right? They couldn’t get the Ticket in bars without the RedZone on DIRECTV as part of the whole thing, right? Please tell me I’m right. — Lanny, Gaithersburg, Maryland. 

Lanny, DIRECTV yesterday announced it has signed a multi-year agreement with EverPass Media to provide the NFL Sunday Ticket to commercial establishments nationwide, including bars and restaurants. The deal will begin with the 2023 NFL season. (EverPass had obtained the commercial rights to the Ticket in a separate agreement with the NFL.)

I’ve received a handful of reader e-mails, and Twitter comments, since the news that suggest the EverPass agreement means that DIRECTV will carry the NFL RedZone channel this season.

The satcaster produced its own version of the RedZone when it had the exclusive rights to the Ticket. But when the NFL awarded the Ticket rights to Google starting with the 2023 season, the satcaster lost the right to do a RedZone channel. Even worse, it didn’t have a carriage deal to carry the league’s version, called the NFL RedZone channel.

A well-placed DIRECTV source told me a few months ago that the satcaster is anxious to carry the NFL RedZone and hopes to make a deal before the 2023 season begins.

So does the EverPass agreement signal that the deal is done and DIRECTV will have a RedZone channel this season?

Answer: No.

They are two separate negotiations. DIRECTV secured the bar/restaurant rights to the Ticket through an agreement with EverPass, which is a separate company from the NFL. To carry the NFL’s RedZone channel, DIRECTV will have to come to an agreement with the league. And that negotiation could get complicated because DIRECTV Stream and U-verse do not have either the NFL Network or the RedZone channel. (DIRECTV, the satellite service, does carry the NFL Network.) DIRECTV will likely have to iron out a deal for the RedZone and NFL Network on all three services.

I still think that will happen, but it hasn’t yet despite yesterday’s announcement.

Lanny, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann