This year, DirecTV offered their NFL Sunday Ticket package for free and the result was a big jump in subscriptions in the third quarter.According to Claire Atkinson of the New York Post, DirecTV saw subscriptions increase by 327,000. Analysts had predicted an increase of just 158,000. The gain by DirecTV nearly matches the number of subscribers lost by the four biggest cable companies combined (375,000). DirecTV now boasts a subscriber base of 19.8 million, which is closing in on cable giant Comcast (23 million).
DirecTV offered their package of NFL games free for one year to all new subscribers that signed a two-year contract. DirecTV is currently paying the NFL $1 billion a year for the rights to broadcast out-of-market games. The deal expires after the 2014 season.
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