At one point over the past few years, we wrote that it made sense for the NFL to keep the satellite portion of Sunday Ticket with DirecTV and to sell the streaming side of it elsewhere, in order to maximize the overall reach of the product. Despite the explosion in Internet-based video, satellite technology continues to deliver content for many. Thus, the NFL’s best outcome would entail having both platforms.
Via Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal, that may indeed happen.
Fischer reports that “momentum is growing” for an extension with DirecTV, one that would result in the streaming side of the package going elsewhere. Helping the cause is the fact that AT&T will be spinning off DirecTV; the relationship between the NFL and AT&T had become very strained, and that angle is now irrelevant.
“We don’t subscribe to the theory that television is going away,” NFL Chief Media & Business Officer Brian Rolapp said at the CAA World Congress of Sports last week, via Fischer. “We want to be in every household in this country and beyond. And so while that distribution patterns change, we need to be [in satellite]. So in fact, television is going to be meaningful. We’re going to want to be there in a way. I don’t think Sunday Ticket is any different.”
The NFL also could (in theory) sell the global Sunday Ticket rights to a company like Amazon and Apple, allowing that company to then break off the satellite piece. Regardless, for those who rely on the satellite-based version of Sunday Ticket, take heart. The NFL, which giveth the product in 1994, does not seem ready to taketh it away.