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NFL, DirecTV Near Multi-Year Deal for Sunday Games

The National Football League and DirecTV are in advanced discussions to renew the satellite TV provider’s exclusive Sunday ticket package in a multi-year agreement, sources confirm to Variety.

Estimated to be worth $1 billion annually, DirecTV’s exclusive NFL package has allowed subscribers to watch football games outside of their local markets on Sundays for the past 20 years.

The package currently costs $300 per season.

Sources close to the deal stress that while a deal is likely, negotiations between the NFL and DirecTV are still ongoing.

Back in September, the NFL reportedly shopped the Sunday package to other satellite and broadcast providers but ultimately went back to DirecTV in recent weeks.

The current contract between the NFL and DirecTV, worth $4 billion, expires at the end of 2014.

“We’ve had very, very constructive conversations with the NFL, but it’s complex,” DirecTV CEO Michael White said today at an investor conference. “I’m very optimistic we will get an exclusive deal done on NFL Sunday Ticket.”

Approximately 2 million of DirecTV’s 20 million U.S. subscribers pay for the NFL package, according to the company, providing a major selling point for the 23 year-old TV service.

Capitalizing on booming ratings and global interest, the NFL recently set record-breaking TV rights pacts with Fox, CBS and NBC running through 2022 that are worth $3 billion a year in total to the league.

Reuters first reported the news.

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