Before last NFL season started, DIRECTV NOW customers in Boston, Hartford, Los Angeles, Louisville, Philadelphia, Phoenix and San Antonio were able to subscribe to the NFL out-of-market package. We later learned that prior to the season, the NFL and DirecTV decided to do this to test the viability of streaming to cord cutters.
While the DirecTV and the NFL’s deal for NFL Sunday Ticket lasts until 2022 at $1.5 billion annually, it was expected that the league would opt-out after this season. Much of that is to explore other options to stream NFL Sunday Ticket.
A new report in Bloomberg suggests that the NFL may split the streaming and TV rights to NFL Sunday Ticket. In an interview, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said “We’re having great discussions with DirecTV and AT&T. We’ve had a 25-year partnership and we want to continue that partnership, but we also are looking to see how we can change the delivery.”
The league has been aggressive in bringing their games online. Besides streaming Thursday Night Football on Amazon, the NFL has been streaming all in-market games on mobile and tablet (via NFL and Yahoo! properties) for free without the need of a cable subscription.
They have also created a mobile streaming plan for NFL RedZone in the NFL App for only $5.99 a month.
The one missing piece for all streamers though has been the ability to stream the league’s out-of-market package. This spring, it will become more clear what the future of out-of-market streaming will be for NFL fans.