US satellite-television provider DirecTV is offering refunds for its NFL Sunday Ticket package to fans that are unhappy with the wave of protests that are sweeping through the American football league, according to multiple reports.
The move, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal newspaper, has seen DirecTV offer unprecedented refunds if customers specifically cite the recent protests during the traditional pre-game airing of the national anthem when informing the company that they want to cancel their Sunday Ticket subscription.
Fans cannot normally cancel their subscriptions once the season has commenced, but the ESPN.com website said DirecTV’s owner, telecommunications group AT&T, decided to change the policy due to the sensitivity of the issue. The price of the package, which allows fans to access out-of-market games, is about $280 (€235).
NFL players have been staging protests against the US administration and further comments from President Donald Trump saw around 180 players refuse to stand for the national anthem during games played at the weekend.
DirecTV holds the rights to the Sunday Ticket package of programming from 2015-16 to 2022-23, an agreement that is said to be worth an average of $1.5bn per season.
Sunday Ticket is an out-of-market subscription package that was launched by DirecTV in 1994, allowing subscribers to access Sunday afternoon games broadcast by US networks CBS and Fox.