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DirecTV Reaches Agreement With NFL On 'Sunday Ticket,' Keeps AT&T Deal Intact (DTV, T)

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1 October 2014, 5:13 pm by: Myles Udland

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DirecTV and the NFL have reached an agreement on "Sunday Ticket," giving DirecTV the exclusive right to show every NFL game each week. 

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. 

According to Reuters, citing a source familiar with the agreement, DirecTV will pay the NFL an average of $1.5 billion per year for "Sunday Ticket" over 8 years.

Reaching this agreement was a requirement for the completion of AT&T and DirecTV's $48.5 billion merger, which was recently approved by AT&T shareholders and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2015. 

In a regulatory filing, AT&T included a clause that allowed the company to walk away from its deal to acquire DirecTV if the company could not reach an agreement with the NFL for the "Sunday Ticket" package.

In after hours trade, shares of DirecTV were up as much as 2% and AT&T shares were fractionally higher. 

Here's the full release from DirecTV and the NFL:

NEW YORK & EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The National Football League and DIRECTV have extended and expanded DIRECTV's exclusive rights to carry NFL SUNDAY TICKET and its package of every Sunday afternoon out-of-market game through a new multi-year agreement.

The new agreement also expands DIRECTV’s rights to stream NFL SUNDAY TICKET live on mobile devices and via broadband, known as NFL SUNDAY TICKET.TV, as previously announced.

Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Under the new pact, DIRECTV will also continue to broadcast its RED ZONE CHANNEL and its new DIRECTV FANTASY ZONE channel that debuted this season. In addition, DIRECTV and the NFL also extended their NFL Network distribution relationship with DIRECTV to offer its customers TV Everywhere access to NFL Network anytime, anywhere on virtually any device.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with DIRECTV,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “DIRECTV and NFL SUNDAY TICKET have served our fans well for 20 years and continue to complement our broadcast television packages. We also appreciate DIRECTV's commitment to NFL Network, which it has carried since the channel launched in 2003.”

“This new agreement is a testament to the terrific long-term relationship we have with the NFL and its millions of fans across the country,” said Mike White, chairman, president and CEO of DIRECTV. “NFL SUNDAY TICKET has always been the centerpiece of DIRECTV's sports leadership and we're pleased to continue our relationship with the NFL and be a part of the league's future growth and success.”

Under the new NFL SUNDAY TICKET agreement, DIRECTV will continue to offer all out-of-market Sunday afternoon games in HD. DIRECTV customers who purchase NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX will also have access to the online/mobile service to watch their games on virtually any device; a Game Mix channel with up to eight games on one screen; both the RED ZONE CHANNEL and new DIRECTV FANTASY ZONE channel; and Short Cuts, which offers replays of each Sunday game in 30 commercial-free minutes.

The new DIRECTV FANTASY ZONE channel is devoted entirely to fantasy football and fields a team of fantasy experts offering real-time game-to-game fantasy analysis and statistics powered by NFL.com Fantasy.

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