The fate of the massively popular NFL Sunday Ticket package has been the topic of much speculation. Would the NFL stay with DirecTV and keep the status quo? Would a new satellite or cable provider try to step in and acquire the bounty of NFL games and the Red Zone Channel. Could Apple, Google, or Netflix step in and change the sports rights game completely?

Right now as it stands it appears that the NFL and Sunday Ticket will stay with the nation's top satellite provider and remain on DirecTV. John Ourand predicted it on our podcast last night and Variety reports that the two sides are close to renewing the contract that expires after the 2014 season…

The National Football League and DirecTV are in advanced discussions to renew the satellite TV provider’s exclusive Sunday ticket package in a multi-year agreement, sources confirm to Variety.

Estimated to be worth $1 billion annually, DirecTV’s exclusive NFL package has allowed subscribers to watch football games outside of their local markets on Sundays for the past 20 years.

The package currently costs $300 per season.

Sources close to the deal stress that while a deal is likely, negotiations between the NFL and DirecTV are still ongoing.  

It's estimated that 10% of DirecTV's 20 million subscribers have the Sunday Ticket package.  To be quite honest, that's a lot lower than I expected.  When I think of DirecTV, Sunday Ticket is the first thing that I think of with the provider.  Almost everyone I know who's got DirecTV in the past few years has done so with the explicit purpose of getting Sunday Ticket.

The service has been a God-send for NFL fans of out of market teams like myself and it's growing even more popular with the advent of the Red Zone Channel.  The NFL and DirecTV have certainly enjoyed a successful relationship with one another and as long as the league receives market value from their current partner (after all, money is the most important thing to the NFL) then it makes sense for this deal to happen.


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