March 4, 2009

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Credit DIRECTV with an “assist” for customers who want to get a handle on how their favorite bracket team will perform in this year’s NCAA® Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. 
As a warm-up for the tip-off of its exclusive 2009 NCAA® MEGA MARCH MADNESS® service, DIRECTV has drafted a dream team of five of NCAA basketball’s most respected coaches for an exclusive one-hour TV special featuring a “roundtable” analysis of the brackets for the 2009 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. 

“Bracket Breakdown” will debut on The 101 Network Monday, March 16 at 9 p.m. ET and run throughout the remainder of the week, with the last broadcast at 8 a.m. ET on March 19, just before the tournament begins.  For more information on air dates and times, visit the "The Guide" in the "TV Explorer" section on DIRECTV.com.

The show, compliments of DIRECTV, will feature Louisville’s Rick Pitino, Memphis’ John Calipari, Oklahoma’s Jeff Capel, Tennessee’s Bruce Pearl and Washington’s Lorenzo Romar, who will analyze the teams and their prospects for advancing down the road to the 2009 Men’s Final Four® and on to the championship game.  Andrew Siciliano, host of DIRECTV’s Red Zone Channel, and Sean Farnham, a former UCLA basketball player and broadcaster for Fox Sports
Net, will host the hour-long roundtable discussion as the panel of top coaches breaks down each first round game. 

The special is a prelude to DIRECTV’s NCAA MEGA MARCH MADNESS service that begins March 19 and supplements CBS Sports’ exclusive live network coverage of the 2009 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, providing exclusive access to all live out-of-market games.  Now in its tenth year on DIRECTV, the service returns with its trademark, award-winning interactive features and is the only way fans can see on television all 64 games of the NCAA Tournament, starting with the Opening Round game on March 17 and concluding with the championship game from Detroit, Mich., April 6.

“With the amazing basketball brain trust we’ve assembled for the show, ‘Bracket Breakdown’ will be required viewing for fans looking for the most insightful analysis on the NCAA Tournament,” said Eric Shanks, executive vice president for DIRECTV Entertainment.  “An hour with our panel and we guarantee you’ll become the resident NCAA Tournament  genius around the office and have all the knowledge you need to get the full benefit of our exclusive NCAA MEGA MARCH MADNESS package and all of its cool interactive features.”

NCAA MEGA MARCH MADNESS continues to be available to residential customers for $69 and offers 37 Tournament games from the first three rounds and a host of interactive television enhancements:

• The Game Mix channel features up to four live broadcasts in standard definition, viewable on one screen with the ability to tune directly to any of the games. The Mix Channel will also have a scoreboard displaying the status of all current round match-ups.
• Fans with interactive receivers can access their own Interactive Bracket. It also allows fans to make and track their own Bracket picks and to see every score from every game in the Tournament.  The Interactive Bracket is available on the Mix Channel and all the game channels, and is also available 24/7 throughout the tournament on channel 700.
• While watching any game, fans can also call up an on-screen “L-wrap” to see scores from other games in progress and cycle through all the current round match-ups, four at a time. An interactive receiver is required.
• All 37 NCAA MEGA MARCH MADNESS games will be available in HD, and all interactive features will be available on the HD channels. DIRECTV’s Smart Tuning feature will automatically tune viewers to the HD game channel if they have an HD receiver.

About DIRECTV, Inc.

DIRECTV, Inc. (NASDAQ:DTV - News), the nation’s leading satellite television service provider, presents the finest television experience available to more than 17.6 million customers in the United States and is leading the HD revolution with more than 130 HD channels. Each day, DIRECTV subscribers enjoy access to over 265 channels of 100% digital picture and sound, exclusive programming, industry-leading customer satisfaction (which has surpassed national cable companies for eight years running) and superior technologies that include advanced DVR and HD-DVR services and the most state-of-the-art interactive sports packages available anywhere. For the most up-to-date information on DIRECTV, please visit directv.com.

About the NCAA

The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit www.NCAA.org and www.NCAA.com for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes.  The NCAA is proud to have the following elite companies as official Corporate Champions — AT&T, Coca-Cola and Pontiac — and the following elite companies as official Corporate Partners — DiGiorno, Enterprise, The Hartford, Lowe’s, Sheraton and State Farm.

[NCAA, Final Four and Mega March Madness are trademarks owned or licensed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.]