The longstanding agreement that gives DirecTV exclusive access to the Sunday Ticket package that gives NFL fans the ability to watch every game expires after next season. But the two sides have apparently come to terms on a new deal.
Multiple reports on Thursday say the league and the satellite TV provider have agreed to keep Sunday Ticket on DirecTV for years to come.
DirecTV, which pays about $1 billion a year to the NFL for exclusive access to Sunday Ticket, expects to keep that exclusive access going forward.
“We’ve had very, very constructive conversations with the NFL, but it’s complex,” DirecTV CEO Michael White told Variety. “I’m very optimistic we will get an exclusive deal done on NFL Sunday Ticket.”
There had been talk that the NFL might open up the Sunday Ticket package to cable companies, or that an Internet distributor like Google’s YouTube could bid on the contract. But DirecTV seems set to keep the competitors at bay and hold onto exclusive access to Sunday Ticket.
A new deal would need to be approved by DirecTV’s board of directors and the NFL’s owners, but this is a deal that has made both sides a lot of money, and now seems likely to keep making both sides a lot of money for many more years.