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New DirecTV Has Chance to Keep Part of NFL Sunday Ticket After AT&T Spinoff

Jeff Kotuby

Among the names rumored to get their hands on NFL's popular Sunday Ticket, one that never seemed to pop up was DirecTV, the current rights holder. But can that change thanks to its spinoff from AT&T?

According to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, DirecTV’s spinoff from AT&T could be the thing that gets it back into the NFL’s good graces and allows it to keep at least a portion of the Sunday Ticket broadcast.

“The NFL doesn’t like AT&T,” Ourand writes, “and AT&T doesn’t like the NFL. As long as AT&T controlled DirecTV, it was unlikely that the two would come to an agreement on an ‘NFL Sunday Ticket’ renewal at the end of next season.”

However, now that AT&T is no longer operating DirecTV and DirecTV Stream (formerly AT&T TV), opening the door for a potential renewal after all. Ourand questions DirecTV’s ability to keep up with tech giants like Amazon and Apple who may want to step into the football foray. “DirecTV’s best bet to keep the package is if the NFL decides to split it among several media companies,” Ourand writes.

Sharing the Sunday Ticket pie would be the best outcome for DirecTV and consumers alike. DirecTV can maintain some sort of exclusivity in the satellite broadcasting space while other providers host the broadcast digitally. This gives fans more options to consume the product while not necessarily having to install a giant satellite dish on their homes. The latter is a big selling point for NFL fans, if the replies to Ourand’s tweet are any indication:

At least for DirecTV, the AT&T-sized problem in retaining their Sunday Ticket rights is out of the way. Now it’s just about selling the NFL on their platform and hoping none of the other media giants meddle in their plans.

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