NFL, DirecTV nearing new Sunday Ticket deal


NFL / National Football LeagueThey’ve signed off on a framework for negotiations to renew the satcaster’s contract to offer the NFL Sunday Ticket football package. Renewing DirecTV’s exclusive deal would give it a key marketing advantage over MSOs. Cable companies sought a deal in 2009, but DirecTV ended up renewing instead.

The two sides “are still in material negotiations,” but extended their exclusive negotiating period to work through the remaining issues, according to a Reuters exclusive.

The current DirecTV offer allows subscribers to watch football games outside of their local markets on Sundays. The package, which costs subscribers up to $300 a year, has about 2 million subscribers.

The current agreement, estimated to be worth $1 billion a year, is due to expire at the end of the 2014-15 season, meaning there is one year left to go under the previous terms.

Any agreement will not be announced until Q1 or Q2 2014, said the story.

Said DirecTV CEO Mike White said at the company’s investor day 12/12: “we’ve had very constructive conversations with the NFL but it’s complex. I’m very optimistic we will get an exclusive deal done on NFL Sunday Ticket.”

See the Reuters story here