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Will DIRECTV Carry NFL Sunday Ticket In 2020?

Q. I remember reading awhile back that DIRECTV could lose the NFL Sunday Ticket starting next year. But I haven’t seen anything about this lately. What’s up with this? If they lose it, they will lose me, too!! — Gary, Big Spring, Texas. 

Gary, you’re right. In 2015, DIRECTV signed an eight-year agreement with the National Football League to carry the Sunday Ticket as an exclusive, meaning no other pay TV operator could offer it. The $12 billion deal covered seasons 2015 through 2022. (Note: DIRECTV has had the Sunday Ticket as an exclusive since its launch in 1994.)

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However, there was a loophole in the agreement. The NFL could opt-out after the 2019 season and sell the rights to another pay TV service. Earlier this year, the clause triggered numerous articles about the possibility of DIRECTV losing the popular package of Sunday afternoon games, particularly after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell openly discussed selling the Ticket to another operator.

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But the deadline for the league opting out has passed, again leaving DIRECTV as the sole carrier of the Sunday Ticket. (And, despite speculation to the contrary, there appears to be no evidence that the NFL will sell a separate online package to a company such as Amazon or Google.)

In fact, DIRECTV is now offering the remainder of the 2019 Sunday Ticket and the 2020 edition for free to new subscribers who sign up for its Choice (or higher) programming package. So you can bet the ranch that the satcaster will have the Ticket next season.

Why did the league decide against opting out?

AT&T, DIRECTV’s owner, has agreed to pay roughly $1.5 billion a year for the exclusive rights to the Ticket. While that may not seem like an excessive sum to a deep-pocketed outfit like Amazon or Google, it’s highly unlikely that the NFL could get more from any company. The Ticket is still a very popular plan, but its value has diminished some in recent years due to the launch of the Red Zone channel.

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— Phillip Swann

About TV Answer Man (1730 Articles)
The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than two decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television.

6 Comments on Will DIRECTV Carry NFL Sunday Ticket In 2020?

  1. Amazon or Google will have an had time doing the commercial market and they have NO direct line the end users as well.

  2. Offering it free to new subscribers is what pisses off loyal & long-time customers. At least offer a discount to long-time customers. Note: I did get a discounted price but only because I called.

  3. My issue is that if you don’t watch a game live, you must manually record the program. And in attempting to do that, it defaults to 3 hours meaning that if you fail to change the stop time, you will miss the end of the game. Plus, many software glitches. Though I set the recent 49ers Ravens game to add 3 hours, it didn’t do it. Same if you try to record off the NFL channels and it also happens to be on your local channel, the local takes over and at the default of only 3 hours. Nobody is managing the process.

    • Set the recorder to Record the last 5 minutes.
      Go do something else before the last 5 minutes.
      You won’t miss much

  4. When it barely drizzles, rains and snow’s it knocks my satellite out. You would think that Direct TV these days would have a solution to this problem. NOT! This not only affects home TV’s as well as sports bars. I called one day and asked them if anyone in Alaska has Direct TV? They put me on hold and the answer was NO! Of course not, it snows continuously there. I’m hoping another provider takes over. I’m sick and tired of watching a program and then BOOM NO TV! HUGE PROBLEM FOR DIRECT TV!

    • Where do you live ?
      I live in California and it has gone out for 1-2 minutes 3 Times in 10 Years
      It was Raining CATS & DOGS
      Maybe you need to trim your trees or Move the Dish.
      Why would you think a Home DISH is any different than a sports bar DISH ?
      They are the SAME. Go check them out.
      I don’t think Alaska can get the signal, it is to far North.

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