In an analyst meeting this past week, where AT&T was discussing their acquisition of DirecTV, the subject of NFL Sunday Ticket was brought up as "a cornerstone of future product-bundle offerings it can market to its customers" according to sources at the Wall Street Journal. They even went as far as suggesting that streaming NFL games would not count against any data caps.
If you're not familiar with the NFL Sunday Ticket service, it's an offering from DirecTV that streams out-of-market NFL games live to subscribing customers. It's a pretty popular service, with about 20 million current subscribers. It's also the sort of thing AT&T would love to use to gain customers, so any attempt to get licensing for the mobile version to be in AT&T's favor is not surprising.
Things aren't there just yet, though. DirecTV's rights only cover streaming to paying satellite customers, and negotiations may fall flat. If that's the case, the whole deal with DirecTV may get the axe, according to AT&T's 8-K filing.
In the event that DIRECTV's agreement for the "NFL Sunday Ticket" service is not renewed substantially on the terms discussed between the parties, the Company may elect not to consummate the Merger, but the Company will not have a damages claim arising out of such failure so long as DIRECTV used its reasonable best efforts to obtain such renewal.
There is a lot of money to be made here, and we're pretty sure all parties want a little piece of it. It's worth keeping an eye on, for sure.