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This is Why DIRECTV NOW Dropped NFL Network

Nick Dimengo

When DIRECTV NOW removed the NFL Network from its programming options, some sports fans were probably more than a little upset about the decision. After all, NFL Network gives in-depth analysis on everything happening around the league, broadcasting up-to-the-minute news as well as replaying old games and producing documentaries. But DIRECTV NOW did have its reasons for getting rid of the service, and we now have a little bit more clarity as to why.

In yesterday’s AT&T earnings call, CEO & President of AT&T, Randall Stephenson, detailed the reasons why DIRECTV NOW — which is owned by AT&T — cut the NFL Network. Here’s what Stephenson had to say:

“You probably saw news that the NFL Network was taken down on our U-verse network, and, look, we are heavily invested in the NFL on DIRECTV, but we’re limited to carrying the SUNDAY TICKET just on DIRECTV. And so our customers that have a high affinity to the NFL, we tend to have them over on DIRECTV.”

“When you look at the NFL Network, there is some cost attached to that, and when you consider the games on the NFL Network or the NFL Draft, our customers can watch the NFL Draft on ABC, they can watch the Thursday Night games on Fox, and so it’s all stuff we carry and the NFL Network was a product U-verse that was not allowed to carry the SUNDAY TICKET. It just didn’t really make sense to continue carrying it over there. So, it will save some content costs and we will give our customers access to the NFL through other mediums. If they really are a NFL-centric customer, we will move them to DIRECTV.”

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Given Stephenson’s reasoning behind the move, it makes sense financially for DIRECTV NOW to have removed the NFL Network. Not only was there an abundance of content available out there from competitors, but, for those customers who want NFL content, it sounds as if AT&T will find ways to deliver that content through other mediums; which will save customers money in the end.

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