When NFL Network (and NFL RedZone) went dark on AT & T fresh and DirecTV Now (owned by AT & T) This week, AT & T quickly directed its customers who complained (and many of them) to a website that broadcast their event site. That website included the lines of "Our rights to provide the NFL Network on your TV line have expired." We regret any inconvenience … As we continued to manage the content costs, we could not reach an agreement with the NFL to continue transmitting your channels on TV and DIRECTV NOW ". Well, the NFL has now responded with its own statements and website, with those statements posted on Wednesday (the same day that the 2019-20 league calendar was officially published in the NFLN). Here is a statement from a spokesperson for the NFL Network that broadcast:
"We have a long history of working with our distribution partners to reach fair agreements. That said, to reach an agreement there must be a willingness to communicate, exchange proposals, sit down and negotiate. Unfortunately, when it comes to AT & T, we never found out until NFL Network and NFL RedZone were removed from the AT & T U-Verse and DTV Now services. We are disappointed by all of our fans who will miss upcoming events, such as tonight's premiere program and next week's NFL Draft, where the NFL Network will have exclusive behind-the-scenes access with a record of 23 room cameras. war on the team's facilities, including the No. 1 Selection, Arizona Cardinals. "
And here is more of its release:
Earlier this week, NFL Network and NFL RedZone are no longer available to AT & T U-Verse subscribers or to DTV Now subscribers. While the NFL remains committed to negotiating renewed agreements on fair and equitable terms, AT & T has not been willing to participate actively.
The NFL network continues to be widely distributed in the United States, including distribution partnerships with major cable, satellite, telecommunications and OTT providers throughout the country, including Altice, Comcast Xfinity, DISH & Sling TV, Spectrum, Cox, Sony Vue, Fubo TV and Verizon FiOS.
That is a pretty strong language. And as mentioned in our previous paragraph, here are possible implications beyond U-verse and DirecTV Now. NFLN is currently available on DirecTV (which is also owned by AT & T) at this time, and DirecTV has exclusive access to Sunday Ticket until the 2019-20 season, but the NFL has the opportunity to cancel this agreement after this year. And while comments from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about AT & T in March were quite complimentary, they also signaled the league's desire to go to a broadcast partner as well ("We've had excellent discussions with DirecTV and AT & T." A one-year association and we want to continue that partnership, but we're also studying how we can change the delivery. "And it's worth at least thinking if this AT & T change and the apparent dismay of the NFL could have handled additional impact on its relationship with DirecTV and Sunday Ticket.
Of course, heated language appears in many transportation negotiations, and even seemingly distant pages can sometimes reach agreements and then pretend that they have always been friends. And there is definitely a chance that this will be resolved at the start of the NFL season this fall; While the scheduled launch of the NFLN, the draft coverage and other low season coverage have a decent audience by itself, there are many people who care about the network especially when the season starts (including its exclusive games, which begin with Thursday night – Pilgrims face off in week 2) and that could pressure AT & T to reach an agreement. It is also notable that AT & T is trying to change many of its new clients to DirecTV, so the agreement with DirecTV is the largest, and NFLN is still available at the moment.
But at least, this looks like a chill of relationships between the NFL and AT & T. And AT & T's comments about "could not come to an agreement" and the NFL on "we've never heard of" make it look like there are no current negotiations, and there is no current progress in restoring NFLN to U-verse and DirecTV now. And that could perhaps affect what the NFL decides with DirecTV and Sunday Ticket, too. It does not necessarily mean the loss of spells, since DirecTV and U-verse have handled some transportation negotiations separately, despite their shared ownership, and some are available in one service but not in the other. But this does not sound like anyone else's between the NFL and AT & T at the moment, and that may affect the NFL's choice to keep the Sunday Ticket exclusively with DirecTV or make a change there. We will see how everything develops.[NFL Communications]