Skift Take

Although Starwood is sticking with Sonifi, the nod to DirecTV acknowledges consumers' desire to have a firmer hold on the in-room entertainment experience.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts on Wednesday announced a new partnership with DirecTV, designating it as the company’s preferred provider in the U.S. and giving guests access to DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket, programming for the four major sports leagues, select DVR capabilities, and nearly 100 HD channels.

According to Brennan Gildersleeve, vice president of brand and guest technology, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Starwood was already using DirecTV at many of its domestic hotels and is complementary to existing offerings like Sonifi, which is a DirecTV dealer.

“The DirecTV deal provides a seamless upgrade path for [hotels] to take advantage of this deal, which provides enhanced entertainment options at a great price for the properties.” Gildersleeve says.

Wednesday’s announcement pertains only to the brand’s domestic hotels.

Sheraton is the first Starwood hotel to roll out the new system across its domestic properties, keeping up its promise to deliver an enhanced guest experience through its Sheraton 2020 plan to reinvigorate its reputation as a tired brand. The venture with Starwood marks DirecTV’s second entrance into the hotel space following its agreement with Hilton launched in April 2014.

“Sheraton has a mandate to improve the in-room TV experience in all domestic hotels by the end of 2016,” Gildersleeve says.

Sheraton’s Digital Push

Earlier this week, Sheraton and SPG unveiled a partnership with MLB, providing complimentary access to MLB.TV in Sheraton hotels and enables fans to watch their favorite team live outside of their home market.

Such moves signify Sheraton’s goal, along with the other Starwood brands, to further position itself as perfect home away from home, a tune played up by many a hotel brand around the world save for Hyatt Regency. Earlier this month, Hyatt Regency launched “It’s Good Not To Be Home” campaign centering on the idea that sometimes, being away can be a good thing.

“At Starwood, we are always trying to find solutions for traveler pain points, such as missing your favorite show or game while you are on the road,” Gildersleeve says. “Sheraton is looking to create effortless travel experiences for its guests. We want our guests to have the best of all experiences at their disposal, whether it’s exploring their destination or unwinding in their rooms.”

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Tags: sheraton, starwood

Photo credit: Sheraton announced a deal with DirecTV. Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel

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