The sale of DirecTV has sparked plenty of chatter about the future of NFL Sunday Ticket, especially with the acquisition of the company by AT&T potentially hinging on a renewal of the package.
For now, it appears that DirecTV will indeed re-up the arrangement it’s now had for 20 years. According to John Ourand of SportsBusiness Daily, DirecTV’s exclusive negotiating window has expired, but the NFL has yet to spark “serious negotiations” with competitors — and it’s “likely” DirecTV will renew the popular service that allows fans to watch all (or in some cities most) Sunday afternoon games.
The timing, with the proposed purchase being announced before DirecTV has finalized an extension, could complicate the effort to keep the rights. It’s a fair guess, however, that some winking and/or nodding has occurred between the league and DirecTV regarding the parameters of a new deal. Otherwise, the deal between AT&T and DirecTV wouldn’t have happened yet.
Either way, the regulatory process is expected to delay closing by roughly a year. That’s plenty of time for DirecTV to wrap up its next contract with the NFL.