US satellite television provider DirecTV and American football league the NFL have agreed on a framework for negotiations to renew the company’s Sunday Ticket package of programming, according to the Reuters news agency.
The two sides “are still in material negotiations,” but are said to have extended their exclusive negotiating period to work through the remaining issues, according to a source close to the talks. However, this might still not result in an agreement.
The out-of-market subscription package was first launched by DirecTV in 1994, allowing subscribers to access Sunday afternoon games broadcast by US networks CBS and Fox. DirecTV’s exclusive deal for Sunday Ticket programming will expire at the end of the 2014-15 NFL season.
The package costs subscribers up to $300 (€221) a year and is an important part in DirecTV’s customer acquisition strategy. Around two million people currently receive the service.
DirecTV chief executive Mike White said: “We've had very constructive conversations with the NFL but it's complex. I'm very optimistic we will get an exclusive deal done on NFL Sunday Ticket.”