×
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

  • Pamela Anderson

    Pamela Anderson Fears Julian Assange 'Won't Survive' Extradition to U.S.

    After previously speaking out in support of her friend and WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, Pamela Anderson doesn’t think he would survive an extradition from the U.K. to the U.S. “I hope he gets out of there, but I don’t think he’ll survive extradition. It can’t happen. It’s not even an option. We can’t have him [...]

  • Jane Austin SAG AFTRA

    SAG-AFTRA Secretary-Treasurer Jane Austin Running for President

    Jane Austin, the National Secretary-Treasurer of SAG-AFTRA, has become the third candidate for the presidency of the performers union, joining incumbent Gabrielle Carteris and Matthew Modine. Austin is running as an independent for the top post at SAG-AFTRA, which has 160,000 members. Carteris will seek re-election as the head of the ticket for the Unite [...]

  • Endeavor

    Endeavor Group Holdings Files for Initial Public Offering

    Endeavor Group Holdings, the parent company of talent agency WME, has filed to go public with a Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “EDR.” The filing was made Thursday, a day after the major Hollywood agencies and the Writers [...]

  • Lisbeth R Barron Investment Banker

    Investment Banker Lisbeth R. Barron on How She Became a Broadway Deal Specialist

    If you want to get a deal done on Broadway, call Lisbeth R. Barron. Barron is a veteran investment banker who launched her own shingle, Barron Intl. Group, in 2015. She has brokered a slew of deals throughout her career — which has included stops at S.G. Warburg and Bear Stearns — involving companies and [...]

  • The Prom Broadway

    'The Prom': How the Little Show That Could Found Its Way to the Tonys Dance

    Does a Broadway musical still count as an underdog if it’s got über-producer Ryan Murphy in its corner? It does if it’s “The Prom,” the labor of love from a team of Broadway veterans that’s carving out a place for itself as an original story on a street full of familiar titles and well-known brands. [...]

  • Mario Batali

    Mario Batali Charged With Assault and Battery in 2017 Groping Allegation

    On Friday, Mario Batali will be arraigned in a Boston courthouse regarding an indecent assault and battery charge after a woman accused the restaurateur of groping and kissing her in 2017, according to the New York Times. Several women have also accused Batali of sexual harassment. Batali has continuously denied the claims of sexual assault. [...]

  • lucian grainge: cannes lions media person

    Vivendi in Talks With Tencent About Universal Music Sale (Report)

    In the 10 months since Vivendi confirmed that it is seeking a buyer for as much as 50% of Universal Music Group, the industry has watched analysts’ proposed valuations of the company balloon from an initial $22 billion to as much as $50 billion. But according to a report in Bloomberg, private equity investors have [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content