DirecTV is reportedly close to securing the rights from Amazon to show NFL Thursday Night Football in restaurants and bars.
The report comes from the Sports Business Journal's reliably dialed-in John Ourand, but does not include any financial details.
Amazon Prime Video last year secured exclusive broadcast rights to 15 NFL regular-season Thursday night games a season, paying the league around $1 billion a year for them. This was part of the NFL's $105 billion overall rights renewal package that determined the league's broadcast partners for the next decade.
Streaming live 4K video over the internet has come a long way in just a few years, but latency is still a problem. And the challenge is exacerbated when you try to sync video on multiple monitors. This is the main reason why national restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings expressed relief to Ourand over what appears to be a pending deal to keep TNF on linear DirecTV satellite.
Broadcast network Fox controlled TNF rights last year.
DirecTV will give up its exclusive rights to NFL Sunday Ticket after this coming football season, ending a carriage relationship with for the $300-a-month out-of-market games package that spanned back to the mid-1990s.
However, DirecTV has revealed interest in keeping restaurant and bar rights to Sunday Ticket after Google, Amazon, Apple and Disney settle their bidding competition to take over the franchise.
As a consumer pay TV option, DirecTV continues to recede, losing an estimated 300,000 customers across DirecTV-branded satellite and vMVPD services, as well as legacy U-verse TV, in the first quarter, according to Leichtman Research Group.
But the satellite-TV service continues to be vital in business-to-business markets, not only restaurants and bars, but also hospitality.
Since DirecTV was spun off from AT&T last year as a joint venture with private equity, it's harder to tell than ever how much the satellite TV operator is making from these niche markets. But it does appear that those segments are resistant to cord-cutting and will belong to DirecTV for some time to come. ▪️
NEXT TV NEWSLETTER
The smarter way to stay on top of the streaming and OTT industry. Sign up below.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!