AT&T’s Stankey: ‘NFL Sunday Ticket’ Value Has Peaked

Telecom’s COO tells 'WSJ' a renewal at a higher price probably isn’t worthwhile for DirecTV platform
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AT&T COO John Stankey told The Wall Street Journal that the telecom probably isn’t interested in renewing its contract to carry the “NFL Sunday Ticket” games package if the price tag exceeds the current eight-year, $12-billion level negotiated back in 2014.

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John Stankey

“There’s less profitability to support the decision” to offer Sunday Ticket, Stankey told the paper. “It becomes less critical to the business over time.”

AT&T’s DirecTV satellite TV platform has exclusive rights to carry “Sunday Ticket,” a premium programming service that delivers every out-of-market NFL game on Sundays to subscribers.

The current agreement costs AT&T around $1.5 billion a season and runs through the 2022 season.

Related: Stankey Named AT&T Chief Operating Officer

The NFL is known to covet a video partner that will expand the realm of “Sunday Ticket” into streaming. And for his part, Stankey told WSJ that AT&T would be open to an arrangement that would let in other broadcast partners, so long as the loss of exclusivity would drive down the cost of the package.

“We’d always look at it,” Stankey said. “It all gets down to what the price of something is.”

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