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Place-shifting TV provider Sling Media has tied up with DirecTV (NYSE: DTV) to give the satellite company’s users (not SlingBox users) access to National Football League games, NTV reported. Online streams of NFL games will be available every Sunday…this is DirecTV’s Supercast streaming service, and is available to Directv NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers who have the SuperFan service (Directv’s HD service for all NFL games). Interestingly, this mean Sling is extending from being a hardware/software consumer service to being a B2B service provider to a player like DirecTV, without the hardware part.
Sling Media counts John Malone, the chairman of Liberty Media (NSDQ: LINTA), the owner of DirecTV, as an investor. Satellite TV rival Charlie Ergen, the CEO of EchoStar (NSDQ: SATS), is also a backer of Sling Media.
Back in June, the National Hockey League became the first professional sports organization to sign up with Sling, which agreed to test its SlingPlayer’s Clip+Sling feature. As we’ve noted, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, the MLB’s interactive unit, has repeatedly denounced the service as illegal.
Staci adds: I took a quick look this afternoon. It’s not the optimal way to watch but it’s another option for traveling football fans with expensive DirecTV subscriptions or someone who wants to add a screen or two at home without collecting more TV sets. This would appeal most to someone who might not want to buy additional hardware just to see one sport for a few weeks a year. Building and running a streaming site for DirecTV expands Sling’s possibilities as a company. In the larger scope, it’s another example of the NFL’s willingness to allow partners like DirecTV to experiment with new technology — under controlled circumstances, of course.