AT&T and DirecTV announced Sunday they have entered into an agreement under which AT&T will acquire DirecTV.
That is, as long as DirecTV renews it's deal to carry NFL Sunday Ticket, which gives fans access to every NFL game 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.
According to a report from Sports Business Daily,
If DirecTV fails to renew the rights, AT&T could back out of the deal, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Keeping Sunday Ticket is so important to DirecTV’s future it is a condition of the deal with AT&T.
"The parties also have agreed that in the unlikely event that the company’s agreement for the ‘NFL Sunday Ticket’ service is not renewed on substantially the terms discussed between the parties, AT&T may elect not to consummate the merger," the companies said in a government filing.
DirecTV Chief Executive Mike White on the important of NFL Sunday Ticket to their deal with AT&T:
"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."
This is just one of many examples as to how the NFL dominates the television landscape.