DirecTV nearing deal with NFL for Sunday Ticket




According to reports at Sports Business Daily, DirecTV and the NFL are nearing a deal that will eclipse the current $1 billion per year that the NFL currently makes. I’ve talked about NFL Sunday Ticket frequently in the past, and it’s no surprise that DirecTV is coming up from their current rate to keep exclusive rights to NFL Sunday Ticket. It’s been reported that AT&T’s $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV hinges at least partially on DirecTV retaining NFL Sunday Ticket.

I’m not an unhappy customer of DirecTV or NFL Sunday Ticket. Other than what it costs me to pay for the package, I think it’s great service. But the cost is pretty harsh, to be perfectly frank. I pay for Sunday Ticket because my wife is a Colts fan. That not only costs me more for Sunday Ticket, but it also costs me the bundling effect that most cable customers enjoy. I pay more for everything at the end of the day.

I was hoping that YouTube would break up this marriage and disrupt the industry a bit. I thought Google with it’s $60 billion on hand and estimated $5.6 billion in annual YouTube revenues might be interested in poaching two million Sunday Ticket customers from DirecTV. Imagine how many Sunday Ticket subscribers there could be if anyone with any cable package or Internet package could buy in on YouTube? It would smash two million, easily.

Alas, it appears that it isn’t meant to be. Despite the clear future where cable and satellite customers won’t have to pay for things they don’t want, it appears the old way of doing business will continue to live a little while longer. It’s just very frustrating to me when reality trails logic and capability with regard to technology.

  • EdgewaterJoe

    At this point the NFL should just buy DirecTV since the NFL is pretty much the only thing DirecTV has going for it.

  • Natedawg86

    I called to lower my bill and spoke with retentions, and asked about promotions. They said nothing available right now, and then I told them to go ahead and collect my equipment. The collection boxes are in my garage (they called my bluff), but I won’t quit directv because of sports. I am in MD and need Sunday ticket to watch the Browns (Have young children so finding a bar to go to isn’t a realistic option each week). I am hoping they will call and work with me some.

  • Garry_Owen

    I’ve never had a bad experience with their customer service. Indeed, I think it has been great. The price is far too high, but I’ve much preferred DirecTv to the various cable companies that I’ve had. I hate how much I pay for the service, but I wouldn’t trade the service for the other options.

  • Scott Johnson

    As an NFL consumer, I’d like to fire up the AppleTV, open the NFL app, select a game (in-app purchase or subscribe to a team) and watch, real-time or archived. Ability to purchase games from the entire NFL archive might be nice. Never happen, as their business model is essentially arbitraging what gets broadcast/streamed where/when. Killing the arcane “blackout” restrictions might be a good place to start.

    The NFL gets 40B from broadcast rights. Not even in the same time-zone with YouTube. Mark Cuban has talked a lot about the scale/econ of cable-cutting, I’d recommend if interested.

    edit: to add this great article about MLB Advanced Media

  • a_foreign_film

    at the very least, if you live in certain locations, you can now get sunday ticket via your pc/tablet/phone and video game consoles (playstation 3/4 and xbox 360/one) without having direct tv service. yeah, it’s expensive, but it’s less expensive than buying directv AND sunday ticket.

  • swig

    I would be going on 10+ years of Sunday Ticket if it was available anywhere except via DirectTV. Just not interested in satellite service. I never understood this plan, they would easily go from 2mill to 10mill customers in one year by breaking this bond.

    But… on a selfish note, any chance of Sunday Ticket showing up on U-verse? Maybe next year? /crosses fingers

  • BKJD

    It makes no financial sense to partner with the service that most people who live in cities cannot have.

  • FearTheRoo

    I wish anyone could buy an online package like the NBA, MLB and NHL allow. Too many people can’t get or don’t want DirecTV. I’d gladly give the NFL a few hundred bucks to watch the Browns. Not switching from Dish…

  • @TheDeePagel

    One day I wish we could simply buy a sports package based on cities. Like a “Cleveland Sports” package that would give me Indians, Browns, and Cavs games…

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    I get it free every other year. I signed up right before the NFL season started, so I got it free as a new subscriber. When my two year contract was up I called and demanded (politely) that I get the same perks as a new customer or I wasn’t going to renew for another two years.

    Surprisingly, I got all the perks with no hassle at all. This is my off year, but next year I’m gonna make that call again.

  • mgbode

    I refuse to be a slave to DirecTV or the NFL. So, I buy the NFL-replay online package for $45/year, then wake up at 5am every Monday to watch the Browns before work.

    It’s like the Southpark episode with the gyroscope bike. Still better than dealing with DirecTV and the NFL.

  • mgbode

    Despite the clear future where cable and satellite customers won’t have to pay for things they don’t want,

    I would like to know how this is clear when the media companies are being consolidated. The less companies controlling the media, the less likely they will allow their media be sold without you buying other pieces of their media.

  • Scott @ WFNY

    “As an NFL consumer, I’d like to fire up the AppleTV, open the NFL app, select a game (in-app purchase or subscribe to a team) and watch, real-time or archived. ”

    I can’t up this enough.

  • Natedawg86

    You drink beer every monday before work?!?

  • Natedawg86

    How much would games be though? PPV UFC is still about $45. Would you pay $45 a game?

  • Natedawg86

    If you cannot get directv, i think you can still get the package from them (now). So you would be able to stream the games live.

  • Natedawg86

    I had dish once, wasn’t too thrilled by the channels/cost. It may be closer to Directv now, but it wasn’t 10 years ago.

  • Natedawg86

    I tried that this year, but they sent me the boxes to return the DVRs

  • mgbode

    I wait until I get to work to drink away the pain and hope the early morningness numbs me enough to get through it.

  • Scott Johnson

    There are many more NFL games that UFC, so I imagine scarcity is part of the reason that UFC is $45. I might be tempted to pay 9.99 for a single game.

  • Natedawg86

    The NFL ticket is $240 for all the games. I think cheapest would be $25. That would be 375 for 15 games (usually you have one that is nationally televised. I would def pay $10 a game and then if i wasn’t able to watch, get the NFL replay for a season for $45

  • mgbode

    there are far more UFC nights. however, there are about the same UFC marquee nights compared with NFL games.

    There is basically 1 PPV UFC night a month. But, most weekends have a UFC match (others on Fox-Sports1, FOX, or UFC Fight Pass).

  • CB Everett

    Yeah agreed. The idea that customers won’t have to pay for something they don’t want or that costs aren’t ALWAYS buried in somewhere is silly. Any big infrastructure, be it DirectTV or MLB or NFL has the weaklings and fledglings to support. When I buy the MLB package, whether I like it or not, a Houston Astro gets his wings.

    The DirectTV model may in fact subsidize other programming or operations for the company, but it also has democratized the NFL game viewing experience nationwide. And I’m happy with that.

  • cmm13

    The NFL will need to get in line then.

    AT&T already has begun its purchase of DirecTV. This is when things will get interesting because of the OTA capabilities future software upgrades to the 4G network will provide.

    Essentially you will be able to watch DirecTV without the confines of satellite view.

  • Steve_Not_Chad


  • Craig Lyndall

    I just figure if in 2013 John McCain can propose a bill that it might be an indication that we’re headed that way.

  • Paul Marsh

    Same for me. I tried the “I’m going to cancel” dance as well. The best they offered was a $30 discount, which was pretty lame. So I cancelled.

  • jeremysexton

    Seriously. Would love to see it operate like NBA’s League Pass at least.

  • mgbode

    Fair enough I suppose, but I think you understand that the lobbyist money would never allow such a thing to pass through.

    3 things on McCain’s proposal:

    (1) Politicians propose a bunch of things to keep their name in the press and get re-elected (see: Maine politician advocating a boycott of NFL due to Ray Rice suspension).

    (2) The proposal itself was based on giving either tax breaks or straight up financial incentive to give to the media companies just to offer ala carte. Basically, force them to try it out as an appeasement to the popular idea. Among the million things in this country to worry about, I am not sure that giving Disney tax money is something we should be considering.

    (3) IMO (and caution, this is going to get ranty), If McCain was truly focused on helping out the American people, then he would start by actually acting on the anti-monopolistic laws that are in place before allowing many of these mergers. But, that is a longer topic.

  • Chris Mc

    2 Days ago, an NFL icon popped up on my Apple TV. “NFL Now” is $1.99 a month for starters and definitely still a fetus, but I like the concept and the possibilities seem endless. It does include the NFL Films archive, but I’m not sure how soon after the original air that games end up there.

  • The__Tick

    I was waiting to see where the contract negotiations were going to go between the NFL and DirecTV and it looks as though they are renewing. Living in Florida having a satellite for your TV purposes just does not work. I’ve had it before and I can’t tell you how many times my signal would go out because of weather, so what would the point be for me to spend X amount of dollars and NOT getting what I pay for? I mean I was really hoping for some sort of package where I would spend like $200 and get all the Chicago Bears games but can only watch them online…I would so do that…hell I think I would go as high as $300 but if the NFL does this I have no problem finding those underground websites that will streams all the games for free just quality isn’t that great.

  • oscarrob711

    For the last two years, I could get Sunday Ticket online, now I can not. I simply can’t get Directv in my apartment (not facing south) so I am screwed. I am willing to pay and did the first year and last year got the Madden deal. Now I have no options. Stupid. Short sighted. Annoying. In the future I will not be subscribing to Directv even if I can.

  • Grubdog

    It is cheaper to go to the local bar and grill to watch the NFL. Plus, we don’t have dishes to do. My wife and I do not watch television too often, but we love the NFL. Since we only have time for one or two games per week, we figured that across the span of the entire year, it is cheaper to go out to watch games. We do not watch after the season is over. If DirectTv offered their NFL access online, we would be inclined to purchase, but we cannot justify buying satellite on a 2 year contract in order to watch 15 or 16 games.

  • Hopwin

    I thought for sure MicroSoft would snap this contract up so they could offer it as an exclusive on the Xbox. All the hype about their partnership with the NFL and exclusive content had me thinking this was the goal. Alas, it was not to be.