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NFL, DirecTV extend ‘Sunday Ticket’ deal for $12 billion

The ‘Sunday Ticket’ package allows DirecTV subscribers to view out-of-market games. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

The NFL and DirecTV agreed to an extension of the league’s “NFL Sunday Ticket” package with the satellite television provider.

A person familiar with the agreement said it is an eight-year deal worth about $1.5 billion annually to the NFL.

The league announced the extension but did not provide details.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with DirecTV,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a written statement. “DirecTV and NFL Sunday Ticket have served our fans well for 20 years and continue to complement our broadcast television packages. We also appreciate DirecTV’s commitment to NFL Network, which it has carried since the channel launched in 2003.”

The NFL’s current deal with DirecTV was to expire after the current season and paid the league an estimated $1 billion per year.

The increase in the rights fee could signal that the NFL is not suffering major economic harm at this point while dealing with its recent controversies related to the off-field legal troubles of players Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy and others. Many sponsors issued public statements expressing concern about the league’s issues but few took any further steps.

The Sunday Ticket package enables subscribers to view out-of-market Sunday afternoon games.

“This new agreement is a testament to the terrific long-term relationship we have with the NFL and its millions of fans across the country,” Mike White, the chairman, president and CEO of DirecTV, said in a written statement. “NFL Sunday Ticket has always been the centerpiece of DirecTV’s sports leadership and we’re pleased to continue our relationship with the NFL and be a part of the league’s future growth and success.”