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NFL could soon pull plug on DirecTV deal

Dish Network Makes $25.5 Billion Offer For Sprint Nextel

SAN RAFAEL, CA - APRIL 15: A Dish Network satellite dish (L) is mounted next to a DirecTV dish on the roof of an apartment building on April 15, 2013 in San Rafael, California. Dish Network Corp has offered to purchase Sprint Nextel Corp for $25.5 billion in cash and stock. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Most of the NFL’s TV deals run through 2022. The NFL has the ability to exit one of those deals prematurely.

The league has the power to pull the plug on the Sunday Ticket arrangement with DirecTV. If exercised, the contract would expire after the 2019 regular season.

Despite some speculation and scuttlebutt of a looming announcement that the league will exit the DirecTV deal early, a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that the decision isn’t final, and that the league ultimately may decide to stick with the current deal.

The question for the league to address, as it relates to the Sunday Ticket package, is whether streaming has overtaken satellite. Of course, the league could do both, selling the global streaming and satellite rights for Sunday Ticket to, for example, one of the major tech companies, which could then carve out the satellite rights and sell them, maybe back to DirecTV.

Regardless, there’s plenty of money to be made by the NFL when it comes to Sunday Ticket, and it would be a surprise if the NFL chooses not to exercise its prerogative to give up the bird in the hand for a couple of big fat ones in the bunch.