×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

AT&T CEO Expects DirecTV to Keep NFL Sunday Ticket Exclusively

AT&T believes it will hang on to DirecTV’s exclusive rights for the NFL Sunday Ticket, even as the league has said it’s considering ending the satellite operator’s exclusivity to extend the out-of-home games package to streaming platforms.

“The exclusivity [of Sunday Ticket] should remain as we go forward on DirecTV,” AT&T CEO and chairman Randall Stephenson said on the company’s Q1 earnings call Wednesday. “We’re heavily invested in the NFL on DirecTV.”

Sunday Ticket first launched 25 years ago on DirecTV, and it’s the only place to (legally) watch all of the NFL’s regular-season Sunday daytime match-ups. The price for DirecTV subscribers for the regular NFL Sunday Ticket package for the 2018 season was $293.94.

AT&T’s Stephenson also addressed the issue of the telco dropping NFL Network from DirecTV Now and U-verse TV earlier this month, after carriage deals for the network on those services expired April 15.

“When you look at the NFL Network, there are some costs attached to that,” Stephenson said. He added that many of the games on NFL Network as well as its coverage of the NFL draft are available on other network, so “the NFL Network didn’t really make sense to carry” on U-verse and DirecTV Now — neither of which is permitted under the NFL pact to offer Sunday Ticket. The NFL Network remains on DirecTV’s satellite service.

DirecTV’s current deal for Sunday Ticket extends through the 2019 NFL season. The talks on the football package come as AT&T in the first quarter of 2019 lost a whopping 544,000 net subscribers for DirecTV and U-verse TV, to stand at 22.4 million at quarter’s end (down 2.4% quarter-over-quarter). It also dropped a net 83,000 subs from DirecTV Now, which declined 5.2% in the period to 1.5 million.

Last month, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a Bloomberg interview that the league wanted to expand the distribution of Sunday Ticket to online platforms in addition to DirecTV. “We’re looking to make sure that we continue to deliver this package, which is a premium package of great content,” he said. “We want it delivered on several different platforms.”

AT&T also has offered a streaming-only version of NFL Sunday Ticket, but only to non-DirecTV customers who are college students or live somewhere in the U.S. where DirecTV satellite service is not available (like apartments and other multidwelling-unit buildings).

More Biz

  • Alexander Vlahos (Monsieur/Philippe d'Orléans), George Blagden

    Merged Banijay-Endemol Shine Would Be Global Powerhouse in a Content-Hungry World

    If France’s Banijay Group clinches its proposed purchase of Endemol Shine, which could happen within the next few days, the deal would mark peak M&A in the international indie content world. The MO of both companies is acquiring and aggregating brands and IP, and their union would be the largest ever of its kind on [...]

  • Katie Couric Sheryl Sandberg

    Katie Couric Steamrolls Sheryl Sandberg in Roving Vanity Fair Summit Interview

    Sending a jolt through a luxurious and excessively polite afternoon in Beverly Hills, veteran journalist Katie Couric delivered a relentless series of hardball questions to Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg on Tuesday. Speaking in conversation at the sixth annual Vanity Fair New Establishment summit at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Couric’s [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Judge Refuses to Dismiss Chicago's Lawsuit Against Jussie Smollett

    A federal judge on Tuesday refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the City of Chicago, which is seeking to recoup investigative costs from former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. Judge Virginia M. Kendall rejected Smollett’s contention that he should not be made to pay $130,000 in police overtime costs, plus $260,000 in damages, because he [...]

  • It Is 'Unlikely’ That PledgeMusic Artists

    It Is 'Unlikely’ That PledgeMusic Artists and Creditors Will Be Paid, Receiver Says

    PledgeMusic, the direct-to-fan marketplace that went out of business earlier this year, was more than $7.4 million in debt when it entered liquidation, and its receiver says it is “unlikely” that artists and others owed money by the company will be paid, according to a report from the bank-appointed receiver. “I do not anticipate that [...]

  • Lori Loughlin

    Lori Loughlin Charged With Bribery in College Admissions Case

    Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli, were indicted on a charge of conspiring to commit federal programs bribery on Tuesday, in connection with allegations that they paid $500,000 to get their daughters into the University of Southern California. Loughlin and Giannulli already faced charges of conspiring to commit mail fraud and money [...]

  • Gary Newman

    Fox TV Group Alum Gary Newman Joins Attention Capital as Executive Partner

    Former Fox TV Group chairman Gary Newman has joined Attention Capital, the startup venture launched earlier this year by another Fox alumnus, Joe Marchese. Newman and another media biz veteran, Lisa Gersh, were named Tuesday as executive partners of Attention Capital. Newman will focus on acquisition and investment opportunities. Marchese, who previously headed advertising sales [...]

  • Clio-Brand-Storytelling-Award

    Clio Awards, Brand Storytelling Team to Launch 'Storytelling for Good' Award

    Clio, the international advertising awards competition, announced Clio Brand Storytelling, a new program in partnership with Brand Storytelling, a media company exclusively built to support and inspire investment in the practice of brand-funded content. The inaugural Storytelling for Good Award will celebrate branded entertainment and content that promotes or creates awareness for a cause, foundation, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content