NFL extends deal with DirecTV through 2014

NEW YORK Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:11pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The National Football League on Monday said it reached a deal extending DirecTV Group Inc's rights to broadcast the NFL Sunday Ticket package of games through the 2014 season.

The deal also will allow viewers who cannot get DirecTV satellite service -- because they live in apartment buildings, for instance -- to watch the NFL Sunday Ticket through broadband. That service will start no later than 2012, the NFL said.

While terms of the deal between the NFL and DirecTV were not released, an industry source with knowledge of the agreement, and who could not speak on the record, said it is worth about $1 billion a year over the four year period.

Two years remain on the current deal.

The NFL also said that it will begin offering a new "Red Zone Channel" that shows live cut-ins of all Sunday afternoon games. The channel, which also will begin no later than 2012, will be available to cable, telco and satellite systems, wireless devices, and the web.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman and Paul Thomasch; editing by Carol Bishopric)

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