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DirectTV survey suggests NFL Sunday Ticket could come to Apple TV

A new survey from satellite provider DirecTV suggests that the streaming content options on the Apple TV set top box could expand in the near future, with its "NFL Sunday Ticket" listed as a compatible device.

The survey, obtained by Engadget, offers a "reminder" for participants that Digital NFL Sunday Ticket can be viewed on a number of devices. Among those listed were the Apple TV and iPad.

The digital NFL service is listed at $49.99 per month for a subscription to the entire football season. Customers can also subscribe to a specific weekend for $19.99.

The survey also says that Digital NFL Sunday Ticket can be streamed to a Boxee or Roku player, Internet-connected Blu-ray player, and "game machines."

NFL Sunday Ticket is a service offered exclusively by DirecTV in the U.S. It allows NFL fans to watch out-of-market regular season football games that are otherwise unavailable on cable or local affiliates.

The new Apple TV, released in September, currently offers Netflix streaming, YouTube videos, and photos from Flickr. Content can also be rented from iTunes, and can be streamed from a Mac, PC or MobileMe account.

DirecTV's survey incorrectly states that NFL Sunday Ticket is currently available on the Apple TV, but it could suggest that the feature is coming to Apple's set top box in the near future. The new functionality would require a software update to the Apple TV.

Because the new Apple TV runs the same custom A4 processor as the iPhone 4 and iPad, some have speculated that Apple could add an App Store to the streaming device, allowing developers to create custom applications like on the iPhone and iPad. App Store connectivity was even rumored to be a part of the device before it was unveiled in September.

The Apple TV also runs a custom version of the lightweight iOS operating system that also powers the iPhone and iPad. This week, Apple released a software update for the Apple TV to address issues with screen resolution and downloads.