DirecTV’s been saying for months that it was close to an agreement — and it was important: AT&T could have ditched its acquisition agreement for the No. 1 satellite company if it did not renew NFL Sunday Ticket. But today the satcaster made it official, giving DirecTV shares a modest 1.3% lift in after market trading. Although the companies did not disclose official terms, the deal is believed to run at least through 2021. DirecTV will continue to offer the Red Zone Channel and its new DirecTV Fantasy Zone channel. It can stream the NFL Network to its customers who want to watch on their smartphones, tablets, and other web-connected devices. Those who want to stream the Sunday games need to purchase NFL Sunday Ticket Max.
DirecTV has “served our fans well for 20 years and continue to complement our broadcast television packages,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says. “We also appreciate DirecTV’s commitment to NFL Network, which it has carried since the channel launched in 2003.”
DirecTV CEO Mike White says that Sunday Ticket “has always been the centerpiece of DirecTV’s sports leadership, and we’re pleased to continue our relationship with the NFL and be a part of the league’s future growth and success.”
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The Sunday Ticket talks were complicated AT&T’s $49B deal to buy DirecTV. The NFL has a separate agreement with Verizon that enables it to stream games to its mobile users through 2017.