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NFL to dish signals in TVN satellite deal

With the ink on its Fox deal fully dry, the National Football League announced that it would be beaming its games to satellite dish owners, via TVN, the multichannel pay-per-view satellite network.

Ron Bernard, president of NFL Enterprises and Stuart Z. Levin, president and CEO of TVN, unveiled the NFL-TVN deal Tuesday at a Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Assn. conference in New York.

Beginning in September, TVN will preempt eight of its 10 PPV movie channels each Sunday for the football games.

The games will be offered to viewers on a yearly subscription basis, costing between $ 100-$ 150. Subscribers will receive 10 to 12 games each Sunday for the duration of the 17-week NFL regular season. The transmissions will be scrambled to prevent non-paying dish owners from pilfering the signal.

The games will be beamed to the C-Band satellite dish marketplace, which is comprised of 3.8 million satellite dish owners in sports bars, hotels and private homes. Of these 3.8 million dish owners, about2 million of them own the decoding equipment necessary to view these scrambled transmissions.

According to Bernard, the NFL looks to penetrate approximately 10% to 30% of this C-Band marketplace.

Currently, NBC and Fox hold broadcast rights to the NFL’s Sunday games, while TNT and ESPN have rights to the league’s Sunday night games.

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