NFL Network Dropped from a Streaming Service and an IPTV Service

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AT&T® has got into a carriage dispute with the National Football League, dropping the NFL RedZone channel and NFL Network from the Dallas-based telecommunications company’s DIRECTV NOW® and U-verse® services.

“We have a long history of working with our distribution partners to come to fair agreements. That said, in order to come to an agreement there must be a willingness to communicate, to exchange proposals, to sit down and negotiate,” said a spokesperson of NFL Networks. “Unfortunately, as it pertains to AT&T®, we never heard a word from them until NFL Network and NFL RedZone were pulled from the AT&T® U-verse® and DTV Now services.”

DIRECTV NOW®, U-verse® and DIRECTV® are owned by the Dallas-based telecommunications company. U-verse® is an IPTV service it owns, while DIRECTV® is a satellite service provider, and DIRECTV NOW® is a streaming service. It is important to clarify that DTV NOW is different, because the NFL Network is available to DIRECTV® customers even now. It is easy to get confused by the similarities of these “DIRECTV” brands.

The decision of the Dallas-based fastest internet provider to drop the US channels comes at a time when the National Football League is planning to put an end to DIRECTV® exclusive rights to the “NFL Sunday Ticket” sports package. The package offers customers the chance to watch out-of-market NFL games during the season. For the last 25 years, it has been provided exclusively to DIRECTV® subs. Even though the present deal between DIRECTV® and the NFL will run through the 2023 league season, the NFL has an opt-out option following the 2019 season.

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During an internet with Bloomberg earlier this year, commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell, said, “We’ve had a 25-year partnership and we want to continue that partnership, but we also are looking to see how we can change the delivery. We want it delivered on several different platforms.”

The channel blackout also came ahead of “NFL Draft”, an event which took place from April 25 to 27, 2019. In March 2019, the Dallas-based Telco giant had a heated carriage negotiation with the media giant Viacom®, which just about ended up in “Comedy Central” and “MTV” getting dropped from its DIRECTV® service, but the companies arrived at a last-minute deal to keep these channels. Thankfully, that last-minute consensus has avoided those channel blackouts, much to the subscribers’ delight.

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