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NFL Football Xtra is an Out-of-Market Sports Package that broadcasts NFL regular season games unavailable on local affiliates. It carries all regional games produced by FOX & CBS. The ideal customer of this package is presumed (based on advertisements) to be a fan of a team who is unable to see their team on local TV because they do not reside in that team's market. The package is available in the United States exclusively on DirecTV & in Canada on several satellite & cable providers

United States: DirecTVEdit

Currently, American satellite provider DirecTV has exclusive rights to NFL Football Xtra in the United States until the contract expires @ the end of the 2014 season. Prior to the NFL's latest TV deal, other satellite & cable providers were allowed to bid on the rights to carry NFL Football Xtra if they agreed to carry NFL TV. However, DirecTV still won exclusivity for the package, bidding over $700 million a year to do so. This has long been 1 of DirecTV's selling points to consumers & thus likely explains the large premium they pay for the privilege. Still, the NFL has indicated that another reason they accepted DirecTV's bid was to limit the availability of the product so that the TV networks & especially their local affiliates would be protected. In particular, Football Xtra viewers do not count towards local Nielsen ratings; thus offering Football Xtra on cable might cost CBS & FOX affiliates millions of dollars in lost revenue from local commercial breaks (as opposed to national ads sold by the networks). In turn, affiliates help subsidize the networks' programming costs.

Since the launch of new satellites, DirecTV no longer drops other HD feeds to broadcast the NFL Football Xtra games in HD

Contract extensionEdit

On March 23rd 2009, it was announced that DirecTV paid $4 billion to extend it's exclusive contract for NFL Football Xtra until 2014. After the 2014-15 NFL season, DirecTV will have had exclusive U.S. rights for the package for 20 straight seasons.

The contract extension also calls for the establishment of an online version of Football Xtra, similar to the existing Supercast, for non-DirecTV subscribers by 2012 as well as a "NFL TD" channel to be carried on cable & TV systems. So far, Comcast, DISH Network, Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-Verse, Blue Ridge Communications, BendBroadband & Buckeye Cable have picked up the new TD channel

BlackoutsEdit

If a game the viewer wishes to watch is blacked out in their home market because it's not sold out, the game remains blacked out on NFL Football Xtra. Any other game televised locally is also blacked out. (viewers must watch them instead on their local FOX or CBS affiliates) Games joined or switched away from in progress usually have their blackout status altered immediately

SuperfanEdit

The Superfan package is an extra package which allows subscribers to watch up to 12 NFL games in HD (& as of 2009-2010 season, every game in HD) & offers extra features not available in the regular Football Xtra. This was added in 2005 & includes these 3 features:

Game Mix
This channel shows 8 games @ once, along with the game's score, time left in the game & the quarter that the game is in under the game's feed. Starting in 2008, it can be seen in HD
NFL TD Channel
This channel acts as a viewer's "remote control" & switches around various NFL games as plays of interest occur (scoring plays, key turnovers, etc.)
As of the 2007 season, this channel is provided in HD
Short Cuts
This 2-channel duo recaps every NFL game in 30 minutes or less, including games not available on NFL Football Xtra because they were televised locally or blacked out. 1 channel shows AFC games while the other shows NFC games. These highlights are made available on Sunday nights & are shown continuously until Tuesday morning

Highlights on DemandEdit

DirecTV subscribers with interactive DVR's receive a 3-4 minute recap of every NFL Football Xtra game on demand with this feature, via ch. 1005

HistoryEdit

NFL Football Xtra was launched in 1994 & was available on both DirecTV (which had launched just months earlier) & on C-band & Ku-band satellites, for which the receiving dishes are larger in size. Within several years, the service became available on various cable systems in Canada as well.

The success of Football Xtra led to the launch of other PPV out-of-market sports packages across the spectrum of professional & college sports

International DistributionEdit

NFL Football Xtra is also available in Canada

CanadaEdit

In Canada, NFL Football Xtra has been made available on a non-exclusive basis to the following satellite & cable providers:

  • Bell TV
  • Shaw Direct
    • Access Communications
    • Cogeco Cable
    • EastLink Cable
    • Rogers Cable
    • Shaw Cable
    • Westman Communications

The lack of exclusivity for any provider is due to (CRTC) regulations

See alsoEdit

External links Edit

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