Digital DirecTV Series Mocks College Sports Broadcast Deals
DirecTV has partnered with 20th Century Fox to produce a new digital series of short episodes that satire the world of college football TV licensing deals. Called Suit Up, the comedy will debut for two weeks on Yahoo starting Sept. 12, then move to DirectTV’s Audience Network in January.
Suit Up tells the story of a high-profile college football program that loses its deal with a cable company after a major scandal. DirecTV is cast in the series as swooping in to the save the program from media irrelevance.
The series marks DirecTV’s first stab at self-promotion via a branded digital entertainment production. But Jon Gieselman, the company’s vice president of marketing, says the idea has been floating around for some time.
“We’ve always wanted to tell the story of DirecTV in a cool, different way,” he tells Variety.
Although DirecTV gave Suit Up the go-ahead a year-and-a-half ago, the show’s satire of college sports broadcast deals does call to mind a real-life negotiation struggle in which the satellite provider is currently embroiled. DirecTV and the Pac-12 Network have had a tough time reaching a deal in time for the 2012 football season, which begins this weekend.
While Suit Up received the green light long before DirecTV and the Pac-12 Network entered a stalemate, it does call to mind another recent high-profile broadcast dispute. After Dish Network decided to drop AMC and its popular The Walking Dead series earlier this summer, AMC unleashed a cadre of realistic-looking zombies on the streets of New York in protest.
Also of note: While Suit Up will premier on Yahoo, the Pac-12 Network is no stranger to digital innovation itself. The league recently gave its website a major makeover, kicked off a new TV Everywhere initiative and launched its own iPad app Wednesday.
Image courtesy of cmannphoto