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DirecTV renews NFL deal to offer Sunday Ticket

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Reported terms last eight years for $1.5 billion annually

DirecTV has renewed its deal with the NFL to carry every Sunday afternoon out-of-market game through its Sunday Ticket package. The Washington Post is reporting that the deal is in place for eight years and will net the NFL $1.5 billion annually, though neither company is officially disclosing terms of the agreement. Sealing the deal was critical for DirecTV for a number of reasons, with one prominent one being that the fate of its merger with AT&T in part depended on it — AT&T was allowed to bail on the merger if DirecTV lost the NFL deal.

But it never really looked like DirecTV had any significant chance of losing Sunday Ticket, which is one of the company's biggest draws. The deal also expands DirecTV's ability to stream games to mobile devices, which it began to do as part of Sunday Ticket TV over the summer. But while DirecTV's willingness to begin streaming games online to select locations means that it's slowly becoming easier to watch football games wherever you want to watch them, the fact that DirecTV apparently has this deal locked down for another eight years means that fans will still be subject to its whims. Sunday Ticket is one of the biggest draws that DirecTV has, and as long as it has it, don't expect it to make things too cheap and easy for you.