OTT & Digital

NFL considering Sunday Ticket streaming partner, says Goodell

Commissioner confirms league wants out-of-market games shown on multiple platforms.

by Sam Carp

NFL considering Sunday Ticket streaming partner, says Goodell

National Football League (NFL) commissioner Roger Goodell has revealed that the league is looking to expand the distribution of its Sunday Ticket package for out-of-market games beyond its exclusive deal with AT&T-owned DirecTV.

The NFL renewed its Sunday Ticket agreement with DirecTV in 2014, keeping games on the pay-TV channel through 2022. However, the contract contains an option that would allow the league to opt out of the deal as early as the end of the 2019 regular season.

It was first reported in October that the NFL was considering pulling out of its tie-up with DirecTV, and Goodell has now confirmed that the league could split up its rights to the Sunday Ticket package in order to make out-of-market games available to fans on multiple platforms.

“We’re having great discussions with DirecTV and AT&T,” Goodell told Bloomberg. “We’ve had a 25-year partnership and we want to continue that partnership, but we also are looking to see how we can change the delivery.”

Last season, the NFL and DirecTV streamed games online as part of a trial in seven cities. Splitting the Sunday Ticket rights could see the league benefit from exposure on both a conventional linear television platform such as DirecTV, as well as an over-the-top (OTT) streaming service like with Amazon or AT&T’s own DirecTV Now.

“We’re looking to make sure that we continue to deliver this package, which is a premium package of great content,” Goodell added. “We want it delivered on several different platforms.”

Sunday Ticket is one of eight viewing packages the NFL currently offers. The league already has a non-exclusive streaming deal for mobile devices with Verizon, while it also has a Thursday Night Football rights agreement with Amazon.