TV Answer Man, when AT&T TV becomes DIRECTV Stream, will it have the same lineup as DIRECTV including the NFL Sunday Ticket? — Jack, Fort Myers, Florida.
Jack, as you know, AT&T TV, the live streaming service, later this month will be renamed, DIRECTV Stream. The move is part of AT&T’s sale of 30 percent of DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse to private equity firm, TPG, which closed last week. With AT&T and TPG jointly owning the three TV services, DIRECTV becomes a separate company governing all three.
I’ve received several e-mails from readers wondering if the name shift for AT&T TV means that the streaming service will offer the same lineup as DIRECTV, the satellite TV service, including the NFL Sunday Ticket, and certain channels such as the NFL Network.
However, there is no indication that the AT&T TV lineup will change when the service becomes DIRECTV Stream, at least not in the short term. DIRECTV’s satellite programming rights can not be transferred to DIRECTV Stream just because AT&T and TPG have decided to rename it. The new DIRECTV would have to obtain separate streaming rights for channels on DIRECTV, but not on the streaming service, such as the NFL Network.
As for the NFL Sunday Ticket, AT&T and DIRECTV have permitted the streaming service to offer the football package in the past. In 2018, DIRECTV Now, the original name for AT&T TV, offered the Sunday Ticket in several markets, including the Los Angeles area, Phoenix, Boston, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Hartford and Louisville, Kentucky.
That would suggest DIRECTV is permitted under the NFL contract to provide the Sunday Ticket in at least some markets, or at least, it was permitted to do so in 2018; it was just a one-year offering suggesting either the league did not approve of extending that right, or AT&T decided it wanted to keep it as a DIRECTV satellite exclusive. (The latter is more likely.)
But DIRECTV has a new management team now, and TPG in particularly might push for the Sunday Ticket to be available via DIRECTV Stream as well. I wouldn’t bet on it, but it’s certainly possible.
Jack, hope that makes sense. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann