DirecTV and the National Football League (NFL) have finally agreed to negotiate for the renewal of the satellite TV operator’s contract. The contract allows them to screen the NFL Sunday Ticket football package that is used to attract numerous subscribers to the TV network. Apparently they are still in “material negotiations” and have extended their negotiations period to sift through outstanding issues. However, there is a caution that the negotiations may not result in an agreement between the two organizations.
A renewal of the contract would give DirecTV a key advantage over cable companies in terms of marketing. In fact, the competition for these rights has been high as the cable companies were in the running for a chance to sign a deal with NFL in 2009, but DirecTV won out and ended up renewing their agreement with the football league for four additional years.
Lucrative Deal for DirecTV
As a result of that agreement of 2009, DirecTV currently allows subscribers to watch football games outside of their local markets on Sundays, and it costs subscribers up to $300 a year. It is viewed as an important advertising tool for DirecTV.
It is estimated to be worth about a billion dollars annually, and there is one year left to go under the current agreement, which will end at the end of 2014 season. As a result, any agreement will most likely be announced in the first or second quarter of 2014. A spokesman of DirecTV was keen on emphasizing that they were still in negotiations and were not willing to comment on speculations.
There was speculation that NFL would open up the Sunday Ticket Package to cable companies or to other internet providers such as Google’s YouTube to bid on the contract. However, DirecTV keeps holding on to the deal as it has since 1994, and many people say that it is because they know that sport content is the reason for a lot of their cable TV package revenue.
Many subscribers would prefer that an Internet service provider get the deal because they would be able to watch their favorite football games anywhere via their phones, laptops or tablets. However, at present it seems DirecTV will get the deal for another four years.