NFL Sunday Ticket could affect AT&T and DirecTV merger

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

AT&T and DirecTV announced Sunday they have entered into an agreement under which AT&T will acquire DirecTV in a stock-and-cash transaction for $95 per share based on AT&T’s Friday closing price. The agreement has been approved unanimously by the Boards of Directors of both companies.

This has ramifications on the NFL, as DirecTV is the exclusive home to the NFL's Sunday Ticket package, which gives fans access to every NFL game (except those blacked out) each Sunday afternoon for around $250 per season.

The current deal, which expires at the end of next season, costs DirecTV about $1 billion a season.

DirecTV Chief Executive Mike White and AT&T Chief Randall Stephenson are reportedly close to proposing a new deal to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

But if a deal isn't reached, the proposed merger could get nixed. according to DirecTV CEO Mike White.

"Obviously, things tend to get pushed to the side ... but now that we're through the Super Bowl we've both agreed to extend our exclusive negotiating period," White said in February. "Our conversations with the NFL are progressing in a very positive and constructive manner."

DirecTV is the premier pay TV provider in the United States and Latin America, with a high-quality customer base, the best selection of programming, the best technology for delivering and viewing high-quality video on any device and the best customer satisfaction among major U.S. cable and satellite TV providers. AT&T has a best-in-class nationwide mobile network and a high-speed broadband network that will cover 70 million customer locations with the broadband expansion enabled by this transaction.

The deal enables the combined company to offer consumers bundles that include video, high-speed broadband and mobile services using all of its sales channels -- AT&T’s 2,300 retail stores and thousands of authorized dealers and agents of both companies nationwide.

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