Episodes of the new season of the show, which is about the community surrounding a high school football team, are to be broadcast initially on DIRECTV's entertainment channel "The 101," starting in October, then subsequently telecast on NBC later in the 2008-09 season.
"We're all about quality TV at NBC Universal and we're beyond thrilled that we have structured an innovative deal that allows us to continue to produce and air this beloved series," Ben Silverman, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, said in a statement.
Executive producer Peter Berg said all those associated with the show are looking forward to working with their new partners.
"We are excited to be a part of something that feels legitimately groundbreaking, and new," Berg said.
The show stars Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton.