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Football at 360 Kbit/s

5:00 PM -- Docsis 3.0 offers a nifty capacity bump, but you probably won't need to upgrade to wideband if you live in Manhattan, and you can't obtain a regular DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) satellite signal, and you're willing to pay $349 to test out the broadband-fueled version of NFL Sunday Ticket. (See Cable: DirecTV's 'Ticket' to Broadband Content.) A DirecTV spokesman confirmed that those customers will need only a 360-kbit/s Internet connection to qualify for the Web TV version. So that'll leave plenty of headroom for those of you out there who just can't do without wideband. Also, get ready to prove that you can't get a DirecTV satellite signal (due to blockage by nearby buildings or by your super). DirecTV and the NFL won't simply take your word for it. You'll need to establish it through a new "verification tool." Those of you outside of NYC who want Ticket but want to keep your current cable subscriptions now have a year to get that big tree planted or to get that construction project approved that will end up blocking DirecTV's signal in your neighborhood. DirecTV and the NFL expect to go national with the broadband version of the programming package in time for the 2010 season. — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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