AT&T and the NFL are offering differing accounts of what went wrong with their relationship, with The New York Post quipping that the NFL is accusing AT&T of “unnecessary roughness.” The NFL says the telecom giant pulled two NFL channels off its streaming services without warning.
The Post quotes the NFL saying: “We never heard a word from them until NFL Network and NFL RedZone were pulled from the AT&T U-Verse and DirecTV Now services.”
The report notes that BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield called AT&T’s behavior “highly peculiar — especially for a company so closely associated with sports.”
But AT&T had its own version of events, saying the company “could not reach an agreement with the NFL to continue to carry their channels.”
“The conflicting accounts signal something’s amiss in a 25-year partnership built on DirecTV’s exclusive rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket — the highly lucrative $396-a-season package for all out-of-market NFL games,” The Post reports. “The satellite broadcaster, acquired by AT&T in 2015, most recently renewed its Sunday Ticket rights in 2014, paying the NFL $1.5 billion a year for an extension through 2022.”