The National Football League’s Sunday Ticket package of out-of-town games may have finally outgrown its quarter-century exclusive with AT&T’s DirecTV, at least that’s what Commissioner Roger Goodell says as he looks to expand into the digital frontier.
Though the league still has a good relationship with DirecTV, it’s considering splitting up the rights to make games more widely available now that people don’t only watch at home, Goodell said Friday in an interview.
“We’re having great discussions with DirecTV and AT&T,” Goodell said. “We’ve had a 25-year partnership and we want to continue that partnership, but we also are looking to see how we can change the delivery.”
The NFL is the biggest TV ratings game in town and a huge advertising draw for the networks that carry it. Sunday Ticket is just one of eight different packages the league has going at the moment, and there seems no end to the number of ways the NFL can slice its TV rights. The league already has a nonexclusive streaming deal with Verizon that is specific to mobile devices and computers. It also has a Thursday night streaming deal with Amazon.
Last season, the NFL and DirecTV tested online streaming of games in seven cities. It’s possible the NFL could split the Sunday Ticket rights between a conventional TV partner like DirecTV and an online service like Amazon or AT&T’s own DirecTV Now.
DirecTV didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
“We’re looking to make sure that we continue to deliver this package, which is a premium package of great content,” Goodell said. “We want it delivered on several different platforms.”