DIRECTV is not raising the price of the NFL Sunday Ticket in 2021 for existing satellite TV subscribers, the company confirmed yesterday to the TV Answer Man.
(DIRECTV previously confirmed that the streaming edition price for the Ticket would stay the same. Some non-DIRECTV customers are eligible to subscribe to the streaming edition.)
This will be the third straight year that the Ticket’s price has stayed the same for existing satellite customers.
The satcaster is again including the package of out-of-market NFL games for free for new subscribers who agree to a two-year contract, and subscribe to a Choice package or higher.
For existing subscribers, this season’s Sunday Ticket will cost $293.94 while the Max edition will be $395.94. That was the same prices for the Sunday Ticket in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The last time that DIRECTV raised the price of the Sunday Ticket for existing subs was in 2018 when it increased the fee by 4.2 percent.
DIRECTV yesterday became a separate company after AT&T officially closed on the sale of 30 percent in the satcaster to private equity firm TPG. AT&T and TPG will both have seats on DIRECTV’s board of directors, and former AT&T executive Bill Morrow will serve as CEO.
AT&T has noted frequently that the costs incurred with offering the Sunday Ticket have increased since DIRECTV signed a $12 billion eight-year deal with the league in 2015 to carry the package exclusively. However, the new DIRECTV may be hesitant to raise Ticket prices because of reports that the NFL could choose a different carrier after the satcaster’s contract expires after the 2022 season. The decision to keep prices stable could help generate more Ticket subscribers this season, which could boost DIRECTV’s chances of keeping the package if it so desires.
It’s unclear if DIRECTV is negotiating to keep the agreement beyond the 2022 season.
If it were to lose the football package, it would be the first time since the Ticket’s launch in 1994 that DIRECTV would not have the exclusive carriage rights.
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— Phillip Swann