Bright House Networks is one of the cable MSOs that has refused to carry the NFL Network, so DirecTV, which does carry the channel, says it is coming to the rescue of folks in the Tampa-St. Pete and Orlando markets who don’t have access to the NFL games broadcast exclusively on the league’s own cable/satellite net. The newly launched DirecTV Starship – a blimp with a giant 2,100-square-foot video light sign display – has been dispatched to Florida to let consumers view games not carried on their local cable. The “fly-over” project will begin today, when folks in Tampa will be able to look up at the sky to see the NFL Network’s broadcast of the Denver Broncos-Houston Texans game. The “fly overs” continue the following Saturday, this time above St. Petersburg for the Cincinnati Bengals-San Francisco 49ers NFL Network broadcast. The following week, the Starship will visit the Orlando area for Thursday’s Pittsburgh Steelers-St. Louis Rams broadcast and that Saturday’s Dallas Cowboys-Carolina Panthers broadcast.
TVBR observation: We’re not sure we’d want to watch an entire football game with our neck tilted back to look at a blimp, but there might be a few die-hard fans who would do that. We’re hoping, though, that while the big blue DirecTV Starship is cruising around the area for the next couple of weeks that it makes a pass just south of the Manatee River near the opening to Tampa Bay so we can see it from our TVBR Bradenton, FL office.