DirecTV has seen sizable growth in the third quarter of this year likely attributed to the extremely popular NFL Sunday Ticket package that’s exclusive to the satellite TV service. DirecTV added 327,000 subscribers during the months of July, August and September. This nearly doubles the amount of subscribers added during the third quarter of 2010. Adversely, competitors like Time Warner and Comcast posted losses of video subscribers during the third quarter. The massive increase in growth is contributed to a DirecTV promotion that offered free access to the NFL Sunday Ticket package as long as the customer signed a two-year contract similar to signing an agreement for a discount on a new smartphone.
The NFL Sunday Ticket package offers access to all the out-of-market NFL games and offers consumers the ability to watch eight games simultaneously. The package costs DirecTV subscribers about $335 for the entire season. According to DirecTV CEO Mike White, the company added 1.1 million NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers during the promotion compared to 300,000 during the same time in 2010. The amount of NFL content that subscribers are consuming has also increased. Subscribers are watching 70 percent more NFL video on high definition televisions and 40 percent more content on mobile devices compared to the previous year.
During August 2011, DirecTV also added the ability to access the NFL Sunday Ticket package through the PlayStation 3 without the need for a satellite dish. Current DirecTV subscribers were able to upgrade access on the PlayStation 3 for $50 and non-subscribers had to pay $340 to gain access to the new application as well as the NFL content. With the upgraded access on the PS3, users can watch up to 14 out-of-market games per weekend as well as watch the Red Zone Channel to check out highlights of every scoring drive of every single game without those pesky commercials.