DirecTV Considering Ending Exclusive Rights to NFL Sunday Ticket

DirecTV has long been the home of the NFL Sunday Ticket package. Now, parent company AT&T is considering making a deal which would make it a non-exclusive package.

Currently, the deal is set to go through the 2022 regular season. AT&T is looking at allowing the package to move onto other platforms when that deal is up. “We’d always look at it,” Stankey said in an interview this week. “It all gets down to what the price of something is.”

NFL Sunday Ticket has been exclusively available on DirecTV since 1994 and has been a major part of the platform’s marketing. However, AT&T now says that there may not be room for growth, making it “less critical to the business over time.”

“I don’t think we’re going to wake up a year from now and suddenly there’s going to be more people in the United States that want to watch an out-of-market team,” Stankey commented.

When looking at cost, this decision makes sense. Subscriptions to NFL Sunday Ticket don’t cover the fees DirecTV pays the NFL for exclusive rights to the content. However, industry analysts believe that DirecTV should look beyond that fact and see the greater impact of the decision. Many DirecTV subscribers stick with the broadcaster only because of the access it gives them to Sunday Ticket. Without it, analysts including Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson Research, who says customers will be quick to leave if they lose Sunday Ticket access.

DirecTV has not released information about the number of NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers, but sources say the number is around two million paying subscribers.

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