By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
DIRECTV will continue as the exclusive provider of the NFL Sunday Ticket to residential satellite customers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the company announced this morning. It will also provide the package of out-of-market Sunday afternoon games in bars, restaurants and other commercial venues in the two markets.
Sports Business Journal reported earlier this week that Google, which now holds the residential rights in the 50 states, had informed the NFL that it would not be able to provide the Ticket in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands until November at the earliest. The league, SBJ reports, then proposed to allow DIRECTV, the previous holder of the Ticket’s residential rights, to provide the Ticket in those two areas. But Google supposedly balked at the plan. But it would appear that an understanding has been reached with today’s DIRECTV announcement. DIRECTV Puerto Rico has offered the NFL Sunday Ticket into the islands since 2008.
“Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are very unique in having avid fans for all the different teams across the NFL,” Belkys Mata, vice president of sales operations for DIRECTV Puerto Rico, said in a statement. “Retaining exclusivity to NFL Sunday Ticket in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands reaffirms our commitment to strengthening the live sports we offer to families and businesses, and putting customers first is always the motivation to how we go about our daily business.”
DIRECTV had previously licensed the rights to the Sunday Ticket in U.S. commercial venues via a deal with EverPass Media, which now has the commercial rights through a deal with the NFL.
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— Phillip Swann