By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, now that DIRECTV has gotten the bar rights back for the Sunday Ticket, does that mean it’s still negotiating to get the residential rights back, too? Could we see DIRECTV sell the Ticket to us home viewers again? — Marlene, Nashville.
Marlene, DIRECTV last week announced it has signed a multi-year agreement with EverPass Media to provide the NFL Sunday Ticket to commercial establishments nationwide, including bars and restaurants. The deal will begin with the 2023 NFL season. (EverPass had obtained the commercial rights to the Ticket in a separate agreement with the NFL.)
The satcaster, which had an exclusive on the Ticket for 28 years, lost all Ticket rights when the NFL awarded the new Sunday Ticket residential contract to Google and the commercial deal to EverPass.
So now that DIRECTV has the bar/restaurant business back, does that mean it could still get the Ticket’s residential rights in a sublease agreement with Google?
Answer: Highly unlikely.
A well-placed DIRECTV source told me recently that the company isn’t interested in paying Google for the home rights to the Ticket.
The residential Ticket is not profitable. It’s as simple as that.
However, the bar/restaurant business is profitable. That’s why DIRECTV was willing to make a deal with EverPass.
At this point, DIRECTV can no longer afford to carry a package, even one as prestigious as the NFL Sunday Ticket, if it does not make money, even if it helps retain subscribers. The company has lost more than 12 million subscribers in the last eight years and it needs to refine its economic model so each unit is profitable. DIRECTV believes it can still make a significant profit selling programming to commercial venues.
Of course, anything can change. Google could come to DIRECTV with an offer it couldn’t refuse. But as I said before, that’s highly unlikely.
Marlene, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann