Posted December 13, 2013

NFL discussing new Sunday Ticket deal with DirectTV; no agreement yet

Media
Will the NFL let DirectTV pick up the mic after the 2014 season? (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Though DirecTV is “optimistic,” it hasn’t reached a deal to keep its NFL Sunday Ticket. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

The NFL and DirectTV have extended the timeline of negotiations that would keep the lucrative Sunday Ticket package with DirectTV, Retuers reports.

The satellite company last signed a deal with the league in 2009 to broadcast out-of-market games to its subscribers, for which the subscribers pay up to $300 per season and DirectTV has paid $1 billion per year. DirectTV has said approximately two million people receive the service. That contract expires after the 2014-2015 NFL season.

“We’ve had very constructive conversations with the NFL, but it’s complex,” DirectTV CEO Mike White said During the company’s investor day Thursday. “I’m very optimistic we will get an exclusive deal done on NFL Sunday Ticket.”

On Friday, John Ourand of Sports Business Journal heard from NFL Media Group VP/Communications Alex Riethmiller, who said, “We do not have an agreement. Any speculation or reports to the contrary are not accurate.”

In 2011, the NFL renewed its network and cable television deals to go through the 2022 season and extended its agreement with ESPN to continue to broadcast Monday Night Football through the 2021 season. All of those deals will expand league coverage in significant ways, and the NFL has been looking for other ways to make its seemingly bulletproof brand even more valuable.

In August, the Associated Press reported the league was engaging in discussions with Google regarding the Sunday Ticket package. Earlier in the year, Patrick Pichette, the search and technology company’s chief financial officer, said, “It serves the shareholder best to actually have that strategic ability to pounce” when this type of acquisition is possible. Robert Kyncl, Google’s vice president and global head of business at YouTube, was reportedly a key man in those discussions.

One thing’s for sure — whether the league re-ups with DirectTV or not, the NFL will continue to be aggressive in finding new ways to expand its technological reach.

58 comments
nathanville
nathanville

They should make the Sunday Ticket like HBO where customers can get it no matter who they choose to use for the TV service.  Limiting it to only a small segment of viewers seems to be a bit short-sighted despite what DirecTV might be paying them.

EllisMorris
EllisMorris

Please dont accept offer direct tv been with them 6 years too expensive I have dish network so much better love hopper joey price is good all I have redzone.please offer it to dishnetwork 15 million people have dish

lindac206
lindac206

NFL PLEASE NOOOO DO NOT ACCEPT AGREEMENT WITH DIRECTV!!!!  PLEASE GIVE VERIZON A CHANCE!!!!!!!!!! I HAVE VERIZON FIOS AND THEY ARE AMAZING SERVICE!!! I PURCHASED THE NFL SUNDAY TICKET TO WATCH THE GAMES ONLINE AND DIRECTV WERE NEVER KNOWLEDGE TO FIX MY PROBLEM, WAIST OF MONEY. PLEASE I BEG YOU "Alex Riethmiller" DO NOT PUT THIS AGREEMENT THROUGH!

MichaelMcNally
MichaelMcNally

Direct TV is great if you live in Palm Springs California( they average 6 rainy days a year). Last Sunday I was watching NFL football in a sports bar in south florida when a  little rain shower popped up and the TV reception was lost for 20 minutes. Direct TV is a ripoff.

robertbradf
robertbradf

I AM so AMAZED at what the Pats, and in particular, Tom Brady, have done, considering the Injuries and lost players this year. I know the PATS can't keep winning, playing Zone-D, and they're going to have a rough time against a re-energized Miami team. IF they can get their defense to play as they should, considering the "Inexperience", they could get back to pressing the the O-line of Miami. Of course, by 14 games into the season, I don't feel as though they should be called inexperienced, any longer, either, so they really need to bring their "A" game to Miami this week. bit.ly/BradyEfforts

DeeCee
DeeCee

Was a fan of directv until i moved to florida.  Any time it rains (all summer here) it blacks out.  Please give us other options.

jinx2477777
jinx2477777

ha i watch my team on a bootleg site and the nfl or feds cant do squat to them since they are located over seas. then i watch redzone rest of the day 

bornindetroit
bornindetroit

Be prepared to get screwed seven different ways by Dtv once they ink the deal. I hate paying for allll the games every week. How about 3 teams, every game, for 1/2 price? Something creative!!

JeffMuetz
JeffMuetz

instead of slamming me for 300 bucks and giving me games like Houston vs anyone...how about say for like 5 bucks a game you give me all the games for just one team?  90 bucks to watch all my packers would be a lot easier on the pocketbook.


Oldjoker1212
Oldjoker1212

Hat if the fans went on strike??? Oh ya no more stabbings??

tnjeff
tnjeff

The main reason Sunday Ticket is on Direct TV is  that cable couldn't handle the extra channels at first. I have Comcast I still only get 2 HD channels for Extra Innings, Center Ice, and League Pass combined. All the other games are still in Standard Def. That is why you hear them talking to Google and not cable. The Rezone is doing well so maybe that will help them get all the games on other platforms.

lioneyz
lioneyz

Ever since other providers picked up the Red Zone Channel I've ditched DirecTv. I miss a few things about their service but the jacked up prices I'll pass on. It just got old getting screwed by them after years of loyalty while they always offer the moon and stars to new subscribers.

mbroncofan
mbroncofan

If Directv loses the Sunday Ticket, they lose me.  They aren't any better...and in many ways are much worse...than other options out there.

rifleman
rifleman

I don't really need the Sunday Ticket. Most of the games I want to see are shown locally. Plus, with three Sunday afternoon games, then Sunday, Monday & Thursday night games (not counting the Thanksgiving Day games and Saturday games shown late in the season) they are offering fewer & fewer actual games that aren't already shown locally or on cable.

Joe109
Joe109

I've had direct TV for many years and normally really enjoy it. As a Rams fan I would never get to see a Rams game without it. The #1 problem I see is the $50 charge for a single regular season game. That's the price of a ppv boxing match or ufc! Not a regular season game. But this really is not dtv's fault its the NFL. They own the product and make just about everything over priced including game tickets. Dtv will get the broadcasting contract but I see Google playing a major roll in trying to get live streaming games through YouTube or a different source.

planckhate
planckhate

Stuff like this is a big part of why I stopped watching the NFL entirely. Now, I'll admit, I get a small amount of joy watching the addicts whine about the cost of their fix. 

dwb_alpha
dwb_alpha

Please get away from DirecTV.  They are outrageously expensive, and the only reason most people have their service, I would wager, is Sunday Ticket.  They keep raising their prices because they know they have us football fans by the eggs.  Making each game pay per view, say $5 each or all the games for $20 would make more money for the NFL and allow everyone to enjoy their favorite out of market teams without being tied to a specific provider.

jbc123
jbc123

The only reason I have Direct TV is the football package. I could bundle TV,phone, and internet and save a lot of money, but I wouldn't have the NFL. Between the Game Day package and the money lost by not bundling,I probably spend a grand a year extra on DTV instead of cable/Vioss. The amount of money I bet on any given Sunday makes it worth it to me to see all the teams play. These guys will be dead meat if they lose the NFL game day deal.

yummypeaches
yummypeaches

I don't know why the NFL can't just open the Sunday Ticket to every satelite/cable provider and just take a cut  , say like 30 percent , of the subscriptions . 

apple1000
apple1000

Another example of a bunch of billionaires screwing Joe fan.  I moved from my boyhood home and cannot get DirecTV in my building.  I have to take my kids to local bars to watch the games and have been astounded by the lack of outrage over this issue.  Mr Goodell, your sport won't always be #1, perhaps you should think about your fans before you screw us again.

SC1
SC1

The NFL should sign non-exclusive contracts on a per subscriber basis for NFL Ticket with DISH, DirectTV and Cable ... and see who has the most subscribers that opt for the service. If they want to go exclusive after that ... you got it ... they decide if it would be more profitable to have an exclusive contract with a particular media provider. 

magicvilas
magicvilas

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...

So sick of this monopoly.

Johnqazwsx
Johnqazwsx

$1 Billion cost / $300 subscription fee = 3.33 Million subscibers needed to breakeven.   With only 2 Million subscirbers, it seems like they are falling $ 400M short.   Does DirectTV get to sell commercial time or have another way to make money on it?  


I can't make that math work as to how that can be viable . . . Guess that is why I am not a CEO

justsomeguy
justsomeguy

A lot of people don't seem to realize that you can buy a streaming sunday ticket package and watch games on your computer, android/ios devices, or game consoles.  And frankly, I wouldn't blame anyone, as its incredibly confusing and poorly publicized, though this might be purposeful by directv.  I got in on the $99 madden deal this year for the game + streaming package and its been pretty decent.  The first few weeks it was literally unusable until they figured out how to handle the load (pathetic in 2013 for a paid service, but thats another story) but since then its been pretty good.  For some reason I got my local market games until about a month ago, when it cut out in the middle of the third quarter while I was watching it...


The more the league spreads out games, though, the less useful this package is.  Now we have Sunday night, season long Thursday nights, and eventually if they go to 18 games with 2 byes there will be even less games playing at the same time on Sundays.

montanasax
montanasax

This is absolute BS. If the NFL is really interested in broadening the "NFL Brand" signing exclusive contracts like the NFL Sunday Ticket with just one provider is the most near sighted business ideas ever.  Why limit it to one provider?????  Do you really think people will drop their cable provider, DISH network, etc., to sign with Direct TV you are nuts. The numbers don't support the continued exclusive deal.  


Just look at the Direct TV marketing, so desperate to get new subscribers the offer it free the first year and then charge you double the second year to keep getting it?  Stupid is as stupid does, I guess?  Why not open it up to the 15 million Dish Network Subscribers the countless million Cable TV subscribers?  


Basic math would tell you NFL that more money is available when a customer base is available.


ENOUGH ALREADY. 

davedsone1
davedsone1

Please, NFL, let Google buy it or let us get Gamepass in the U.S.  I can't get DTV, and I want a legal way to watch my team.  You are making me a criminal with this silly one vendor contract.  STOP.  P.S. Let other companies make NFL video games also.  EA Sports sucks.

dei1c3
dei1c3

If the NFL gives DirecTV exclusive rights to Sunday Ticket again, I might be done with the league.  This has been the biggest slap in the face to fans since Sunday Ticket was first created.  I am willing to pay a lot of money to be able to watch my team every week since I don't live in the local area.  But I refuse to do business with DirecTV (onerus contracts, overpriced service).


NFL...please do what's right for your fans and let us buy DirecTV through whatever cable or satellite provider we have.  Just like the other leagues do.

Keats1821
Keats1821

I would love to see how a Google, Amazon or Netflix would handle the NFL. I've long felt the League would be best served separating its cable/satellite service from its internet service. Leave DirecTV with Sunday Ticket, but allow viewing over the internet through one of the aforementioned providers. Imagine Amazon: You pay for their Prime service, then $1.99 for a single game, $35 for a team's full pre- and regular season games, $150 for a division' skull schedule or $300 for the entire league and a full season. Give the fans options and they will most likely get more fans buying from them. Seems to me, though, that only a tech company would have the innovation to do something like this.

I'm sure my thought isn't perfect. Just seems like a good road to travel down from my perspective.

bingelistening
bingelistening

All the other major professional sports leagues offer the same thing Sunday Ticket does for half the price (if not less) and without the requisite attachment to DirectTV.


Still, if you're a fan of an out of market team, $300 isn't that much. That's $18.75 per game. If you go to a bar or restaurant to watch your team, your tab is going to be at least that. With Sunday Ticket, you can stay in the comfort of your own home, plus you have access to every game, not just the team you root for.


But just because it's a good deal when you break it down doesn't mean it couldn't be improved upon. That price tag could easily be chopped in half. An a la carte model, where individual games are treated like episodes on Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, etc doesn't seem out of the question either. You want to see Cowboys/Giants at 1:00? That's $1.00. You want to see Packers/Bears at 4:30? That's another $1.00. The options are limitless and almost all of them are more affordable and flexible than the current "you must have DirectTV" model.

WilyCoyoteSuperGenius
WilyCoyoteSuperGenius

I've never paid a dime for sports programming and I never will. If the NFL wants my eyeballs to sell advertising then they better offer me the games for free.


And what kind of fools run Direct TV if they are losing $500 million per year on this arrangement?

RickStark
RickStark

You're an idiot. I have had Directv for over 10 years. It very rarely goes out for a minute or two due to EXTREMELY heavy rain or ice/snow. Don't be stupid. If it went out every time it rained, nobody would have it. Even when it rains really hard, it usually is only out for a minute or two at the most.

RickStark
RickStark

Born in Detroit? Oh, that sucks. I'm sorry.

FranklinMint
FranklinMint

@yummypeaches They could. But I'm sure their accountants have run the numbers and decided that they're getting more money from what DirecTV is paying them for their exclusivity.

FranklinMint
FranklinMint

@Johnqazwsx All those subscribers are paying the cost of whatever DirecTV package they have in addition to the Sunday Ticket cost as well. Those packages run from ~$60 to well over ~$100 per month, meaning anyone subscribing just for Sunday Ticket is also paying anywhere from $700-$1200+ per year for their TV service as well.  While it's impossible to tell how many of those would subscribe to DTV anyway or would go elsewhere without Sunday Ticket, I'm sure that's an important part of their calculations.

Ryan13
Ryan13

@JohnqazwsxI'm a DTV subscriber and I'll tell ya at $300 its not worth it, considering their bill for basic! Unfortunately I'm in an area where it's DTV or DishNetwork, neither are very good, but from past experience DTV got my money. Now why they make it one company exclusive is something I cannot understand. Why not offer it through all service providers? Make every one of them pay equally for the games and let them decide what they will charge their customers.

MadelynGambrel
MadelynGambrel

@Johnqazwsx It's not a matter of being viable…its a matter of DTV being a going concern.  If Sunday Ticket is not exclusive, DTV is out of business sooner than later.

justsomeguy
justsomeguy

@JohnqazwsxI would guess at least some people do actually subscribe to directv specifically because of or for the package.  At ~$100 a month (on average, but I could be way off here) this would be $1200 a year per subscriber...you'd need 333,333 to get that $400 million.  This still seems like an awful lot of people, though.

cflath
cflath

@montanasax 
When I lived outside of my teams viewing area, I chose DirecTV specifically because of the NFL Ticket.  If I moved outside of the area again, I would do the same thing.  I live within the viewing area, and no longer need the NFL Ticket, but still use DirecTV because I have had nothing short of a terrific experience with them.  Yes, I think this is in DirecTV's interest, and yes people do leave.

BlackSession1
BlackSession1

@montanasax I signed up with Directv years ago, specifically for the package, but have since left. My local cable provider offers up the NFL Redzone channel for free to anyone who buys their $7 monthly sports package, and since the only thing I tended to watch was Directv's version of the Red Zone channel, I figured why not save a bunch of money [not even counting the cheaper subscription fee for the cable itself] and get the same thing? The $300 price point without the ability to simply order Red Zone by itself drove me, and I'm assuming others, away. 

jbc123
jbc123

@davedsone1 Direct TV is a dish, anyone can get it. That's their selling point. You can be out in the boonies with no cable etc and still get their signal.

MatthewCPerry
MatthewCPerry

@WilyCoyoteSuperGenius He/She isn't really a fool.... They know people have to sign up for their other over priced services just to have the ability to access NFL Sunday Ticket package. Therefore they are losing money, to make money if that makes sense.

Mista Big
Mista Big

@RickStark  He's not an idiot.  I had DirectTV for two years (just long enough to fulfill my contract) and it was hands down the absolute WORST service I have ever subscribed to. From the idiot installer who drilled bolts in my roof despite me repeatedly telling him not to do so, to the crappy equipment (they had me using super VHS cables for my HD connection in 2008 and claimed it was the best they could offer), to the fact that summer was the WORST because every single time we had a cloud burst, we would lose the signal.  If we had a torrential downpour, forget it.  Oh, let's not forget snowstorms during football season.

Beldar Grazinski
Beldar Grazinski

@MadelynGambrel @Johnqazwsx With or without NFL Sunday Ticket, Directv has no worries of going out of business.


They also re-sell the commercials to other advertisers.  Not all of the TV commercials you see locally air on Directv.  Same with cable companies.


FranklinMint
FranklinMint

@justsomeguy @Johnqazwsx Well, on one side that's only about 16% of those 2 million, and it isn't unreasonable to think that many or more of Sunday Ticket subscribers are only on DTV because of it. But on the other side, that $100 isn't pure profit, it'd only be the profit part of it that would figure into the calculations.


It's really impossible to know without seeing their books, but the bottom line is that you can bet that if it weren't profitable for them they wouldn't be fighting for exclusivity.

Audio27
Audio27

Our community lives in the shadow of a mountain and can't get DirectTV. People need options!

godfather361
godfather361

@jbc123 @davedsone1 I have DirecTv, but not everyone can get it.  People who live in apartments aren't able to get it.  People who live in neighborhoods with stringent regulations of what they can or can't have on their property can't get it.  It's accessible everywhere, but not everyone is able to get it