Clock ticks on NFL’s Sunday Ticket decision

Mike Florio

The NFL’s arrangement with DirecTV for NFL Sunday Ticket will end after the 2019 season — but only if the NFL acts to end the relationship within the coming weeks.

According to John Ourand and Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal, the NFL must decide whether to opt out of the Sunday Ticket deal early by early September. If the NFL doesn’t exercise its right to end the arrangement earlier before the regular season begins on September 5, the contract between the league and DirecTV will continue through 2022.

The challenge for the NFL is simple: Stay the course for $1.5 billion per year from DirecTV, or roll the dice on what could be a better distribution package but less money. The NFL has been exploring whether other companies have interest in taking over Sunday Ticket. Per the report, however, none of the various streaming services will offer $1.5 billion for exclusive access to Sunday Ticket.

One potential approach would entail DirecTV offering the package via satellite, with another company taking over the streaming rights. That approach wouldn’t necessarily replace the $1.5 billion in annual revenue from DirecTV.

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