With AT&T buying DirecTV for the tidy sum of $48.5 billion, NFL fans have become fascinated with the prospect of getting access to NFL Sunday Ticket without having to buy a satellite dish.
Fascination is about as far as it will go.
AT&T’s purchase of DirecTV won’t give AT&T the ability to do anything more with TV rights than DirecTV already has purchased. If AT&T wants to expand the ability to deliver NFL Sunday Ticket to consumers, AT&T will have to pay for that privilege.
AT&T will be paying in any event. The package expires after the coming season, and the league may want even more for the rights now that there’s a deeper pocket into which the NFL can give.
Look for AT&T/DirecTV to fork it over. The NFL continues to be one of the hottest properties in entertainment, and DirecTV could see a major exodus of customers (this one included) if NFL Sunday Ticket suddenly isn’t available.