AT&T-owned DirecTV may relinquish its long-standing hold on exclusive rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket package when the deal expires after the 2022 season, according to a report on Friday.
DirecTV has controlled the rights to the service, which allows subscribers to watch almost every single game on the NFL schedule, for more than two decades. Once the crown jewel of DirecTV's offering had become less valuable as more customers cut the cord and trench from traditional cables for cheaper streaming platforms, according to AT&CO COO John Stankey, who told the Wall Street Journal that the service offers "less profitability" than it once did .
"I don't think we look at it and say it's a growth product," Stankey said. "I don't think we're going to wake up a year from now, and all of a sudden there will be more people in the United States wanting to see an out-of-market team."
DirecTV is said to pay an average annual fee of $ 1[ads1].5 billion for exclusive rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket, but loses more than $ 500 million each year on the deal, the magazine reported, citing sources familiar with the case. The service has about two million paid subscribers.
An NFL representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Stanley's comments.
NFL executives have been experimenting with streaming deals in recent years, selling digital rights to "Thursday Night Football" to Amazon. In April last year, NBC News reported that the league was considering sharing Sunday Ticket rights between DirecTV and a streaming platform.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in August that tech giants like Apple, Facebook and Amazon were in early discussions about extended broadcasting partnerships when the league's current deals expire.
“I firmly believe that these other platforms will become players in future negotiations. And frankly, they're in the current negotiations, "Goodell told the Sports Business Journal at the time.
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