Cracks developing in NFL-DirecTV relationship

Getty Images

The NFL and DirecTV have had a mutually beneficial relationship for a quarter of a century, with NFL Sunday Ticket becoming a must-have service for die-hard NFL fans. But recently, cracks have begun to develop in the relationship between the two companies.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said last month that the league is considering taking the streaming rights to Sunday Ticket elsewhere, and now NFL Network has been taken off the streaming DirecTV Now service, as well as sister company U-verse, which like DirecTV is owned by AT&T.

PFT reached out to the league office for comment and did not receive a response, although the NFL did send out a statement pointing out that unless the matter is resolved quickly, U-verse and DirecTV Now customers will miss NFL Network’s coverage of the NFL draft.

“While the NFL remains committed to negotiating renewed agreements on fair and equitable terms, AT&T has not been willing to actively engage,” the NFL said.

AT&T published a note to customers saying, “Our rights to provide the NFL Network in your TV lineup have expired. We’re sorry for any inconvenience.”

Although this is a separate issue from Sunday Ticket, it points to the possibility that the NFL may be looking to leave DirecTV and find a company that would serve as a better partner. The league has the ability to pull the plug on DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket exclusivity after the 2019 season, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see that happen.

25 responses to “Cracks developing in NFL-DirecTV relationship

  1. How about they make the games available a la carte on a ubiquitous platform like Amazon Prime?

  2. Unless the NFL is going to make out of market games available, I couldn’t care less about 2 entities that are making mega bucks providing a marginally valuable service who are having a squabble.

  3. DirecTV had the opportunity to be the first generation of “cord cutting” with satellite and then could have lead the second gen and dominated streaming…but greed and the AT&T purchase made numbers of happy customers less important than constant rate hikes and self imposed limits (initially, no Sunday Ticket Streaming, then limited DTVN to 2 (3 if you pay more) concurrent streams. It’s the same tale over and over again. They forget that if you offer something people want and treat them well, they will stay. Sorry DTV, you missed your window.

  4. While offering out of town games on a per-game basis sounds really nice, that would likely mean no more getting Sunday Ticket for free every year by calling Directv and threatening to cancel.

    – Guy who hasn’t paid for Sunday Ticket in like 12 years

  5. This is the kind of stuff that makes me hate AT&T even more. I cut the cord in February and am already regretting this. It was all fine and first they raise prices and now dropping important channels.

  6. DirecTV and DirecTV Now are two different services. DTV is the satellite service, DTV Now is the streaming platform. We’re getting rid of DTV this year and DTV Now WAS on the short list of streaming services we were thinking about, but not if they won’t carry NFL Network.

  7. You get what you deserve when you do business with AT&T! They used to be the only phone company in town. They haven’t been For Years!

  8. I’ve been with Directv for 11 years now, mainly for the NFL ticket. When AT&T took over DirecTV, their customer service dropped big time. Example, last year they gave me free movie channels but charged me for them anyway. If Directv loses the NFL ticket, I’ll be more than happy to switch.

  9. So all you cord cutters want the NFL to streaming? I guess you don’t live in a area where Comcrap is the only realistic internet provider.

  10. Please make it so NFL!!! Ever since AT&T purchased Directv it’s been a mess. Horrible customer service and prices out the window.. If I lived in an area that my local teams played, I would have dropped them long ago. Are you listening Roger? Do it for all us Pats fans!! Crap, I just jinxed it..

  11. Is there even really a need for NFL Network anyway? I mean, I get it for the Thursday night games but aren’t all of them now available on a local affiliate as well now? Other than for live games there’s not much worth watching on NFL Network.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!