AT&T is desperately trying to convince Wall Street that their planned $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV is a good idea by dangling the idea that AT&T could offer a package for their wireless subscribers to stream the National Football League’s Sunday Ticket programming directly to their smartphones or tablets. Analysts were told at the meeting that AT&T executives hinted that they might even exempt those NFL games from counting towards the use of a customer’s data plan. Barclays said in a research note that, “AT&T is looking to use the Sunday Ticket content over mobile devices and expects that it can be a differentiator over the long run to gain incremental market share in both mobile and broadband.”
Sunday Ticket has long been the crowning jewel in DirecTV’s programming and one of the reasons that many subscribers use DirecTV for their TV watching enjoyment. The deal is ONLY between DirecTV and the NFL, so AT&T would have to do some negotiating on their own with the NFL in order to have the rights to stream it over their wireless network. DirecTV and the NFL are currently in negotiations now to extend their relationship, as their current contract expires in 2014. AT&T has the right to abandon their acquisition of DirecTV should they not be able to secure future rights with the NFL – giving you an idea of how important the Sunday Ticket is to AT&T and their future plans.
As AT&T and Verizon battle it out for wireless supremacy, every little “edge” helps. Verizon current offers the exclusive rights to the NFL Mobile – including the Red Zone and weekly games that are streamed on Sundays, the Monday Night games, and games that are broadcasted on Thursdays…and what is really nice for subscribers, Verizon is allowed to stream games that include the viewer’s home team. If AT&T can secure the rights for the Sunday Ticket, it may enough of a reason for some disgruntled Verizon customers to switch to AT&T. To some customers, sports is a very powerful and deciding factor when it come to their decisions.
Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if you currently have the NFL Mobile package on Verizon and if you would be motivated to switch to AT&T if they got the Sunday Ticket package…as always, we would love to hear from you.