TV Answer Man, can you please explain why DIRECTV Stream doesn’t have the NFL Sunday Ticket. It’s part of the same company now, right? So why couldn’t it have the Sunday Ticket like DIRECTV does? This doesn’t make any sense to me. I would subscribe to DIRECTV Stream if I could get the Sunday Ticket through them. — Wayne, Evanston, Illinois.

Wayne, you’re right. DIRECTV Stream, the new name for the old AT&T TV, the multi-channel, live streaming service, does not carry the NFL Sunday Ticket. The package of out-of-market Sunday afternoon games remains a DIRECTV satellite exclusive.

I’ve received several e-mails in the last week from readers who can’t understand why DIRECTV wouldn’t allow the DIRECTV Stream audience to subscribe. They say they don’t want to install a satellite dish on their properties, but they would happily sign up for DIRECTV Stream, which does not require a dish, if it offered the Sunday Ticket.

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“Wouldn’t DIRECTV Stream get more subscribers if you could also get the Sunday Ticket as an add-on package?” asked one reader.

“Are they trying to go out of business?” another reader lamented. “This makes no sense to me. There are a lot of people who aren’t interested in getting a satellite dish, but they would like to get DIRECTV on the Internet. But without the Sunday Ticket, the appeal isn’t the same.”

Those are good points. So I asked DIRECTV why it doesn’t allow DIRECTV Stream to offer the NFL Sunday Ticket as well.

The answer?

“Our rights with the NFL are for satellite only,” a DIRECTV spokesman told me.

So there you have it. DIRECTV isn’t crazy or being unsavvy business people. The company’s eight-year contract with the league, which was signed in 2014, simply doesn’t allow for it to offer the Sunday Ticket via anything other than the satellite TV service.

Those with good memories might recall that DIRECTV Now, the initial name for DIRECTV Stream before it was changed to AT&T TV, offered the Sunday Ticket to seven markets in 2018 (Los Angeles, Phoenix, Boston, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Hartford, and Louisville). But the spokesman says that was a one-time test authorized by the league. At this point, DIRECTV does not have the authority to do that again.

You might also note that DIRECTV allows university students, consumers who can’t get a satellite dish at their residents, and others in select markets, to subscribe separately to the Sunday Ticket’s streaming plan. Well, the league is okay with that offering, but does not approve of a blanket subscription service that would be available to all DIRECTV Stream customers.

Wayne, hope that makes sense. Happy viewing, and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann