By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, DIRECTV had a RedZone channel for years. Why can’t they just do another one instead of having to negotiate with the NFL to carry their RedZone channel? What am I missing here? If they don’t have a RedZone channel soon, I’m dropping them. — Carl, Mobile, Alabama.

Carl, DIRECTV currently does not carry NFL RedZone, the league’s channel for live look-ins at multiple Sunday afternoon regular season games. A company source tells me that it wants to add the channel by the start of the 2023 NFL regular season, but there’s no guarantee that will happen. DIRECTV might have to secure an agreement for the NFL Network and the RedZone channel for its sister services, DIRECTV Stream and U-verse, as part of any deal for the RedZone on the satellite service. And that could make for a complicated negotiation.

So why doesn’t DIRECTV just do its own RedZone and cut out the middleman? It’s true that DIRECTV previously produced its own version of the channel, called RedZone, and included it the NFL Sunday Ticket Max package. The company certainly has the expertise to do it again.

But there’s one problem with that. When DIRECTV lost the rights to the Sunday Ticket, it also lost the right to do a RedZone channel. To produce a RedZone channel, DIRECTV would need permission to broadcast at various times all live regular season games on Sunday afternoon. Those rights are currently only available in the Sunday Ticket or the league’s own RedZone channel.

DIRECTV would have to obtain those rights from the league to do its own RedZone. And if it has to negotiate with the league, it’s wiser to do so for the existing RedZone. Why go through the expense and trouble of creating a new RedZone when the current one is available?

The TV Answer Man will continue to monitor this situation and report back here if anything significant changes with the RedZone and DIRECTV. Until then, happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann