DirecTV launched an advertising campaign in August featuring Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs as their “Overly Direct spokesperson.”
The first ad promoted DirecTV’s Sports Central hub and SportsPack lineup of networks.
Notably, the NFL was unhappy with its former Sunday Ticket partner, DirecTV, over its advertising campaign. The league said in September that DirecTV’s ads were confusing consumers, according to Joe Flint of the Wall Street Journal.
The NFL filed a complaint — and after an unfavorable ruling from an industry self-regulatory group — DirecTV will be forced to modify some of its football season ads, reports Katie Deighton of the WSJ.
While DirecTV held the rights to Sunday Ticket since 1994, those have been shifted to the streaming service, YouTube TV. The NFL argued that claiming to show “every game” would only add more confusion to an already drawn-out process.
Here’s what the NFL had to say at the time of its complaint — back in September — from the league’s EVP of Communications Jeff Miller.
“YouTube and YouTube TV are the only place to go for fans at home wanting to subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket. We are aware of consumer confusion resulting from advertising in the marketplace. The NFL wants its millions of fans to know where to get NFL Sunday Ticket and that we stand against deceptive advertising.
According to DirecTV, they didn’t believe their ad was deceptive advertising, as subscribers could still watch Sunday Ticket on its Sports Central platform by purchasing it as an additional package through YouTube.
The National Advertising Division didn’t see it that way.
“NAD determined that DirecTV’s advertising is not clear as to what sports programming is and is not available for viewing with the advertised service.”
DirecTV has agreed to modify the disclaimer in its Travis Kelce ads to comply with the National Advertising Division’s ruling, but the ads themselves, including Kelce’s performance, will remain unchanged.
A league spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that the NFL is pleased with DirecTV’s decision.