National Advertising Division Recommends DIRECTV Modify or Discontinue Two Sports Central Claims
New York, NY – November 2, 2023 – In a Fast-Track SWIFT challenge brought by the National Football League (NFL), the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that, for DIRECTV Sports Central, DIRECTV, LLC either:
- Discontinue the “gives you access to every game…” and “With access to every pro football game on DIRECTV, some guests might overstay their welcome” claims, or
- Modify the claims to clearly and conspicuously disclose that additional subscriptions beyond a DIRECTV subscription are required to watch every pro football game.
Fast-Track SWIFT is an expedited process designed for single-issue advertising cases brought to NAD. The challenged claims appeared in television advertising, a social media video, and on DIRECTV’s website.
DIRECTV now offers its subscribers DIRECTV Sports Central, an integrated interface available through the DIRECTV Gemini device. Using the Sports Central interface, DIRECTV customers can view a directory of sporting events in a single menu, including any live NFL games broadcast on channels that come with a DIRECTV subscription or those which require a third-party subscription.
At issue for NAD was whether the challenged claims convey the unsupported message that DIRECTV customers can watch every pro football game simply by virtue of subscribing to DIRECTV, without the need to purchase an additional streaming package or third-party subscription.
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.
While DIRECTV Sports Central allows DIRECTV customers to more easily access the games that come with their subscriptions, it does not allow them to watch pro football games for which they have not otherwise purchased a subscription.
Although NAD recommended that DIRECTV modify or discontinue the above claims, NAD noted that nothing in its decision precludes DIRECTV from making truthful and non-misleading claims about the benefits of DIRECTV Sports Central.
In its advertiser statement, DIRECTV stated that it “is pleased NAD recognized that the DIRECTV Sports Central experience provides unique value to consumers” and that it “will comply with NAD’s decision.”
All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive. Per NAD/NARB procedures, this release shall not be used for advertising or promotional purposes.
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