NFL, DirecTV “on the verge” of a long-term deal

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For 20 years, DirecTV has owned the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket.  That number eventually could approach 30.

According to John Ourand and Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal, the NFL and DirecTV are on the verge of a long-term extension that will pay between $1.3 billion and $1.4 billion per year for the right to make out-of-market Sunday games available via satellite.

The deal is expected to run through 2021 or 2022.  The current major national TV deals, which launched this season, all expire in 2022.

A formal announcement is not imminent, and no contract has been signed.  Both sides declined comment.

The price potentially went up after reports emerged that AT&T’s proposed $39 billion purchase of DirecTV hinged on the NFL Sunday Ticket package staying put.  That development necessarily gave the NFL some extra leverage in negotiations.

With the current deal at $1 billion per year, the new contract will pump $300 million to $400 million into the league’s pockets.  Which in turn will further drive up the salary cap.

Which in turn will make some of these long-term player contracts look worse and worse as the current decade continues.

103 responses to “NFL, DirecTV “on the verge” of a long-term deal

  1. Getting DirecTV here in Florida is a non-starter with me. I had it years ago that the constant storms just made it unwatchable. Phone coverage with AT&T is even worse.

  2. I have DirecTV and got the ticket for free. Call them up and ask for the complaint dept. Tell them you’ve been a valued customer and know of a few people that get the ticket for free and you’ll take your business elsewhere if you don’t get the same treatment. We all pay enough as it is no matter what team you root for. So hopefully this help all of you fans out there paying too much for tv!

  3. How shortsighted and crippling. NOTHING in Tech should be contracted over such a duration.

  4. NFL: We need $1.4 billion a year from direct tv. We also need billions from NBC, Fox, CBS and ESPN and we will also be blacking out any games that aren’t sold out.

  5. UGH! I hate Direct TV, the only reason I keep it is because I can watch my team. Horrible customer service and if you sneeze the signal goes out. Bummer.

  6. It’s not about getting Sunday Ticket for free, anyone can get that. It’s about having crappy a$$ DirecTV service. No one wants that. I know several people with it, & even in good weather areas of the country they lose signal all the time.

  7. Why doesn’t dish network or Comcast or uverse just increase the bid by 500 million or so? And the highest bidder wins. Or why don’t they all get together and make an offer to the NFL so they all can provide it? I’m sure the NFL won’t say no to more cash.

  8. I’ve had DTV for years only because of the nfl pkg. which is the only thing that makes this company viable. I don’t understand why all carriers cannot have the games and as subscribers you choose your game ala carte. Oh, that’s right. The nfl wants EVERY dollar in the universe. As Cuban said, careful piggy, piggy.

  9. I have been a Sunday Ticket subscriber for 5 years since I am out of market for my team. They have always given me pretty steep discounts when I called and threatened to cancel. This year, no go. They offered me nothing compared to their last offers. I went through and cancelled. I have one more card to play and will wait until after week 2 since my team opens on Monday night.

    It’s strange because with DirecTV I am in the Philly market but with CableVision (who I hate) I am considered NY market. My card will be to threaten to cancel and go back to CableVision so I can watch the Giants. CableVision did offer to pay my cancellation fees way back when when I left so we’ll see if that still holds true. It sucks to have to do this dog and pony show every year.

    I will miss getting to watch any game though.

  10. This is the worst thing about football. I assume the NFL doesn’t want the fan to be able to sit at home and watch out of market teams. Maybe because that would keep fans home and not at the bar or the game.

  11. Once again, the NFL’s greed wins out over letting all football fans have access to the games.

  12. The NFL RedZone is the best answer for those of us who can’t or won’t pay for DirecTv’s NFL Ticket’s exorbitant pricing and it’s poor customer service.

    Plus the RedZone is 100% commercial free.

  13. This sucks. We all know that the NFL is all about the money, but they would get even more if they allowed others into the fray. Verizon, Comcast and other larger cable companies. And, they can make even more on devices like Roku, AppleTv, etc. Trust me, people would pay monthly for football. Now, I’m going to have to go online and watch if free. Screw DTV!

  14. Direct TV – No signal in thunderstorms, lots of porn and infomercials, and oh yes, the Sunday Ticket – the only reason they stay in business.

  15. Get ready to bend over and grab your ankles football fans…

    We all know what will be coming next !!!!!!

    Yes !!! You guessed it !!! Yet another fee increase.

  16. The reason DirecTV pays so much for this is because it gives them a competitive advantage…..they have something no one else has. Much like how Hulu or Amazon Prime might say they are the only ones you can stream certain shows on.

    So, the NFL figures it is easier to negotiate one big contract with DirecTV rather than negotiate several smaller deals with Comcast, Time Warner, Charter, etc.

  17. Bottom line, you can get satellite signal in more viewers homes than a cable feed, hence more customers = more $$. DirecTV overpays so that the NFL exclusively only deals with them. Nothing really the major cable companies can do about that.

    As for Verizon having deep enough pockets to make a competitive offer? That is a joke since they have over extended themselves on their FIOS product which hasn’t resulted in higher returns. They have ceased expanded/installing indefinitely meaning if Fios isn’t offered in your area now, you aren’t going to get it anytime soon.

    The NFL must have some amazing negotiators to have DirecTV by the balls to have them overpay for exclusive rights to broadcast NFL games. If it was offered to satellite and cable providers you would think it would net more cash for the league.

  18. NFL Sunday Ticket isn’t worth the asking price…

    For starters, like the name implies, you only get games broadcast on Sundays – no Thursday or Monday Night games.
    No Preseason, No Playoffs and certainly no Super Bowl.
    Also, all of your local teams games are blacked out, since if they’re not sold out, they’d be on your local station anyway.

    With the flex-scheduling that kicks in around Thanksgiving, you’re already getting many of the best games for free without paying through the nose.

    And for the one year when I did have it, I found that I spent all day Sunday surfing through all of the games (as if I was obligated to do so), and the result was I found that I never saw any complete games.

    Regardless, this is all part of an experiment IMO.
    People have shown a willingness to pay to watch football – a few seasons ago DirecTV even started selling individual weekends (not single games, but the whole weekend).

    Once the NFL legal beagles figure out how to circumvent the federal anti-trust laws, you’ll never see another game on TV without going to Pay-Per-View…

  19. Nfl is well on there way to making all games ppv….it’ll start with playoffs and the super bowl and then make its way to the regular season. The only thing ull b able to watch for free is the preseason!!

  20. Direct TV is much better than competing products. Yes, I do have some troubles in the summer with a storm maybe 5 times a year but it usually lasts for about 15 minutes at most.

  21. TV Prices….Ticket Prices…Jersey Prices…..Player Salaries…..

    Stop buying their product and they will be forced to change. BUT, people will keep paying ridiculous money because football is awesome. So unless you are actually boycotting, stop whining.

    It doesn’t matter what service provider has the package, each company will screw it up and over charge. I have been happy with my Direct TV service and have had no problems in the Florida stormy season. Twice all summer has my signal gone out for maybe 20 minutes due to a crazy passing storm. The dish is supposed to point up fellas…

  22. NFL is greedy! this should be available to every cable provider not just direct TV. won’t subscribe to either and support their greed program.

  23. I live in the Daytona Beach Florida area and I have had no problems with DirectvTV outside of the occasional thunderstorm and even then, if you go off the HD channel, the wide band channel still come through. With cable, when it gets cold, feeder trunk lines disconnect, or someone crashes into a telephone pole and kills service for hours, not to mention cable’s even more throat choking pricing. I’ll keep Direct TV thank you very much

  24. Seems like DirecTV and/or the NFL has their marketing people hard at work in the comments section lol. And is that 1.3 billion a year really more than they’d make on all the other networks combined? DirecTV sucks anyways.

  25. I have Direct TV and hate the installation process, technicians are incompetent and dishonest, had to move several times during the ridiculous two year agreement. After buying home we waited the full six months of having the service suspended before starting it up again. We have seven months left on contract and will stop service after. During those six months we were disconnected and used Netflix and Amazon streaming service. Comcast is as bad or worst, we have high speed internet with them.

  26. Bouya!

    I’ve had DirecTV for many years and I just love it.

    As for the Sunday Ticket, I think the price is a steal. I’d pay a lot more for it, because I love football.

  27. hey great for the NFL. make a deal that makes you tons of money but makes it so a lot of your fans who want the out of market package can’t get it because direc tv is not an option in many places. good job looking out for fans Goodell.

  28. This is bad news for the consumer. Opening this package up to all providers would make the pricing a LOT more affordable. Some competition with the Sunday Ticket would be REALLY nice.

  29. Anyone whining that Comcast should get a shot at Sunday Ticket needs to do their homework. Comcast refused to bid seriously and then tried to play the “we just want a fair shot” card later. They have enough money – they just don’t want to spend it.

  30. Damn, I was really hoping the Google Rumors from a few years ago were true.

    Welp, looks like good ole redzone and free streaming for me.

  31. and for $20 years I been getting ripped off by Direct TV. I started at $49.99 on my C-band big backyard dish. When Direct TV took it over price doubled

  32. I’ve had DirecTV for two years (contract) after being long-time cable subscriber. They gave me first year of Sunday Ticket Free… I tried negotiating a better price in year 2 and they didn’t budge/lower their price!

    So I’m out! Contract is over and I’m not continuing with them. Weather issues were horrible… And I prefer some of the local channels that DirectTV does not offer and cable does— I miss those channels more than I would miss the Sunday Ticket– Especially at the rate they currently (and most likely will increase in the future) charge…

    As a Football Fan, I really dislike that the NFL can limit this service to one provider!.. We pay taxes that fund their stadiums and they continue their greed in way that force their customers (we’re not really “fans” in their eyes) to pay more.

    I challenge our elected officials to finally stand-up for the public and do the right thing here.

  33. I have had DirecTV for years. One thing I found out by accident. Satellite reception is clearer and sharper. I happened to be watching PIP and had the same station on. I noticed the Satellite was a clearer and sharper picture. When I asked my cable guy he told me its because of the towers and boosters they have to use to keep the signal reaching your home. I pay $203.94 for the service. that’s $12. per Sunday. I can pause the game, play it in slomo, rewind it, all from the convenience of my home with my 60″ TV and my recliner. Plenty of food and a clean bathroom. I will be driving up to Jacksonville in November to see the GIANTS. I guarantee it will cost me more than the $203.94 I pay for the Sunday games. I AM EXTREEMLY HAPPY with DirecTV.

  34. Guys, guys, as long as we’re bellyaching about horrid NFL monopolies, let’s not forget the inane exclusive licensing arrangement with Electronic Arts. I would sooner play the 10-year-old NFL2k5 than waste five seconds on yet another lazily warmed-over rehash of the very newest version of Madden. Take-Two/2K = Ferrari; EA/Madden = oxcart.

  35. I am out of market for my team. I simply go to one of the Sports Bars, get a late lunch, drink a few & watch the game. Meet some fans of my teal also. Shared many a table with them.

  36. And this is where the straw will break the camel’s back. Football fans will not pay $400+ to watch football on t.v. – – especially a game that is becoming more unwatchable by the day.

  37. NFL Rewind is the only way that I can watch football. My apartment complex will not let me have Direct TV. I started telling my family to not talk to me about any football till Tues. after I have had a chance to watch the football games I am interested in. It is not a good solution but it is the only way I can do it. Really wish it could be open to more providers. Since I follow an out of market team, I never get to watch my team unless they play on Sunday or Monday Night. I refuse to pay $10 a month to watch one Thursday night game a year.

  38. Another thing that is becoming apparent….what’s the good of Sunday Ticket anymore? The best 5 games of the week are already on nationally. That means all that’s left is Jax-Cleve, Buff-AZ, Stl-TB and games like that. No disrespect to fans of those teams but I wouldn’t watch those games if they were playing live in my backyard.

    So, the question becomes…what exactly is Directv buying for $1.5B+?

  39. What a coincidence. I’m on the verge of a long-term “not caring about the NFL” deal.

  40. don’t blame the owners or the network. It’s business deal that both sides look at as a win/win. Nothing is being forced on us and if you don’t like it don’t buy their service. For those of us who have favorite teams outside of our area it’s great. It’s better then some network deciding which team we should support!

  41. The truth is many may not need to have Directv service in order to get Sunday Ticket. I went to SundayTicket.TV and I’m able to view with my PS4. People giving Directv a hard time about weather or no local channels and such but why even bother with cable or satellite when you can stream Netflix and Hulu for less then $20 a month? Who really want to pay $150+ to watch 5 – 7 channels anyway?

  42. I think the reason why you don’t see Sunday Ticket everywhere is that it would then become a commodity. Right now the NFL can get a pile of cash upfront and only have one company to deal with (DirecTV). If they give it to all cable/sat providers, then those companies would demand a cut from subscriptions, probably 30%. Plus the NFL would inherit all the accounting, negotiations, and administrative overhead that would go along with that.

    Right now, it would take about 5M subs to bring in the money equivalent to DirecTV’s deal. I think DTV currently gets 2M. Add a 30% cut being taken, and that number goes up to 6.5M for the NFL to make the same amount of money. Finally, if DirecTV’s deal pays the NFL up front at the beginning of the deal, then that would massively increase the number of needed subs above 6.5M, maybe up to 10M(?).

    I’m fairly certain that if it would net more money, the NFL would distribute it more widely.

  43. @dontbugmeonsundays U-Verse is owned by the same company as DirecTV. I have a feeling that it will be available for U-Verse customers to buy…

  44. possumsauce mentioned the same Madden over and over, I guess in this edition of Madden there will be more of a half time show and such (so more like 2K). My question to those who want all of that is how long before you’re spamming buttons to skip all of that stuff to get back to the game. Yea 2K may have put together a good presentation but the game play wasn’t any better than Madden or Game Day and after the first week I started spamming buttons to get back to the action.

  45. People have said if tbey live in florida direct tv doesn’t keep signal with all the storms…well that was years ago before stronger signals of HD…Plus by a sat booster! I ljve in floridanand have nonissues what so ever!

  46. AT&T is buying DirecTV. Comcast is buying Time Warner Cable. Both companies have horrible reputations for customer service. The choices for consumers are decreasing while our bills just get higher. Meanwhile, the NFL will only let DirecTV have the Sunday Ticket package which is an anticompetitive action. All these companies want to do is line their executives’ pockets while sticking it to the average Joe. This has to stop. Consumers need to complain to their local congresscritter that the NFL’s antitrust exemption be eliminated once and for all. Demand choice. Demand a truly free market without monopolies. If enough of us speak out, we all win.

  47. justintuckrule, I was as happy as the next guy to see the Giants back into a Super Bowl as one of the biggest underdogs in history and beat the 18-0 Patriots, but nobody wants to watch the Giants every week either. Eli is practically universally hated outside the tri state area.

  48. Pretty sure you don’t have to have direct tv anymore. I think they offer an online package to everyone for like $300. Not that everyone wants to spend that but you aren’t forced to have direct anymore.

  49. If some of you don’t want to cut down your trees to get Directv last season you could stream it with a PS3 . I think you had buy Madden 14 and there was a code given . Might even be other streaming options .

  50. msolo1 says:
    Aug 25, 2014 11:12 AM

    TV Prices….Ticket Prices…Jersey Prices…..Player Salaries…..

    Stop buying their product and they will be forced to change. BUT, people will keep paying ridiculous money because football is awesome. So unless you are actually boycotting, stop whining.

    It doesn’t matter what service provider has the package, each company will screw it up and over charge. I have been happy with my Direct TV service and have had no problems in the Florida stormy season. Twice all summer has my signal gone out for maybe 20 minutes due to a crazy passing storm. The dish is supposed to point up fellas…


    Well said!

  51. DirecTV is so much better than cable. I’ve made out like a bandit with them over the years. That said, I’m not buying the ticket. Huge ripoff.

  52. I AM FED UP. I am an old-schooler who LOVED the game in the 80s. Now, so much greed, hype, and commercialization has entered the game. I was angry when TV timeouts first came on the scene. You know, players literally still stand around waiting for the ref to tell them the TV commercials have finished running. This slows the game down. The game now drips with commercialization… every square inch of the stadiums are filled with ads. You can’t mention a players name or draw a logo on a napkin without NFL lawyers contacting you.

    For the last 10 years specifically, we have seen the NFL make decisions solely based on money as we see in this DTV deal. NOT FOR THE FAN, BUT FOR MONEY. What about the fans who got you here NFL execs? Why not make it easier for them to see your games? I’m so done.

  53. All I want is to be able to see my team’s games. Why can’t they offer some sort of season package for each team on cable? DTV can still have exclusive rights to the schedule as a whole. Millions of people cannot feasibly use DTV and millions more are on cable but out of their team’s “market”. It would not be hard to do.

  54. Bad idea for the NFL depending on the length of the deal. Soon they may be able to be their own distributer over the Internet and cut out the piece of crap middle men cable companies including Direct TV. Cha ching!

  55. thebadguyswon says: Aug 25, 2014 2:59 PM

    DirecTV is so much better than cable. I’ve made out like a bandit with them over the years. That said, I’m not buying the ticket. Huge ripoff.

    i have to agree 100% with everything. love my directv but this year ill stick with just the redzone

  56. had direct tv for years so I could watch the beloved Packers. when it was $11/game no big deal. When it got up to $20 I called they reduced the sunday ticket price. Yes tech geniuses…it is satellite …it goes out when it rains…but it has to rain pretty hard. In the old days, if it got humid you had troubles.

    but everything is on the net for free and all you need is a hdmi cord directv can book a 30 year deal for all I care.

  57. I reserve the right to select my own Horribly Overpriced and Undersupported Television Service Provider. Exclusivity with DirecTV is a joke, NFL!

  58. And the current way the NFL deals with their Sunday Ticket package is SO MUCH BETTER than say, how HBO provides their service through any and every cable provider for a fee.

    Because that formula hasn’t worked for HBO at ALL (he typed sarcastically…)

  59. Maybe with all that money the NFL can help Directv design a dish that won’t get interrupted signals when a slight breeze blows or it starts raining here in Florida.

  60. gofor2with3pointlead says:
    Aug 25, 2014 2:16 PM
    justintuckrule, I was as happy as the next guy to see the Giants back into a Super Bowl as one of the biggest underdogs in history and beat the 18-0 Patriots, but nobody wants to watch the Giants every week either. Eli is practically universally hated outside the tri state area.
    Fair enough but wouldn’t you rather root against Eli than watch Miami-Oak?

    By the way….relax with “back into a SB”. They beat three teams in the playoffs that year with a collective record of 41-5. They didn’t back into anything. But, I get your point.

  61. I had it for two years and would have kept it but the reception was so spotty. The slightest threat of rain and there goes the signal. In my area you are guaranteed to see every Washington game; which is great if that’s your team. But I’ve really enjoyed watching the NFCW contests every Sunday but, here on the East coast, that’s out of the question without DT.

    It’s a shame this an exclusive deal and I was hoping one of the other cable companies would step up and make a bid for it but with the AT&T’s acquisition of DT the NFL inc. has all the leverage.

    It was fun while it lasted but count me out.

  62. To echo the sentiments of intelligent NFL fans everywhere, BOOOOO!!!!!

    I have, and will continue to have, NFL Sunday Ticket. Unfortunately, that makes me part of the problem. AT&T will necessarily stick the extra $300-400M on to the fan’s prices while using the NFL as an exclusive benefit of membership to the overpriced satellite service provider. In all ways, the Cable and Satellite network-based market is now outmoded and should be disappearing. Instead, they make more money by getting these kinds of exclusive deals to something NFL fans (and there are many millions of them) really want. Why doesn’t the NFL market games to fans directly via some other media outlet?

    Eventually, the blackout rules will be removed from local markets and the revenue stream from in-stadium will decrease, so the NFL should be looking at models to market the individual games to individual households, or packages of games/teams/divisions. There are so many better ways to sell these games than they are currently employing and their insistence on instantaneous and long-term guaranteed cash flow will hopefully hurt them enough, soon enough, that they rethink their strategy.

    Hell, why not get a few engineers working and establish your own hardware platform, xbox one app, ps4 app, mobile app to watch the games anywhere?

    The NFL’s short-sightedness and the greed of these agreements boggles me. When will the nonprofit NFL return to thinking about the good of the game and realize they’ve already covered the bottom line?

    Maybe it’s just me, but I was hopeful, really hopeful, that the NFL would let this contract expire and give me a way to tell DirecTV to shove it without me having to circumvent the NFL altogether. Now, just like you all, I am left with 3 options:

    1. Keep getting DirecTV (exorbitantly expensive for the year when I only want 5 months)
    2. Return to the local market of my team (not practical)
    3. Use an online streaming service (less than ethical)

    So, once again, let me say: BOOOOOOOOO!

  63. Nooooo!!!! Say it ain’t so! I get better customer service from my toilet than InDirecTV…..and it’s not close.

  64. Yeah because everyone knows the internet and streaming media is on it’s way out. This is what happens when a bunch of old people past their expiration date start making decisions. Brilliant.

  65. What’s funny is if you really want to stream an NFL game, you still can. And many, many people do less than legally because that’s the only way they can get it.

    The NFL is so behind the times with this deal, it’s a joke. Not having legit live streaming in today’s market is a complete debacle. They should have had it 10 years ago! At least 5! There is zero excuse. Zero.

  66. Sunday Ticket makes little-to-no sense to purchase. The cost is $300 per year. But if you watch a team like the Steelers, they are nationally televised around 6 times a year. So, that means Sunday Ticket will be $300 for 10 games, or $30 per game to watch. I can go to a bar to watch & get Food & Beverage while I watch for the same cost. To me, I don’t think it’s worth $30 per game to watch on TV. I wouldn’t pay a third of that…

  67. You have to remember, the soon to be expiring DirectTV deal has an exclusive window where only they can negotiate with the NFL. So if they reach a deal before the window closes then there is nothing the NFL can do. If DirectTV makes huge offer and makes it super hard to think they could match it with other companies then they will take this deal before window closes. The issue is they can’t offer it to cable companies unless they reach deal with multiple companies. Satellites for the most part can reach the most subscribers aka more money for the company.

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