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Volume 26 No. 50
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Goodell Refutes Reports About DirecTV Opt Out Deadline

There has been a lot of talk about the status of DirecTV's Sunday Ticket package, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said reports that the league has until this fall to opt out of its deal with DirecTV are “not accurate.” Speaking to CNBC in Sun Valley, Idaho, while there for the annual Allen & Co. summit, Goodell said, “If there’s a way to bring DirecTV and give them an opportunity to expand Sunday Ticket to other platforms, that’s something we’re interested in and we’re engaged with, as well as looking at other platforms outside of that ecosystem.” He added the league’s next round of media-rights talks “probably will include additional players.” Goodell: “Our whole strategy is to have great reach. And to be able to engage our fans, you have to do that on different platforms.” Noting the Thursday night package has expanded to Amazon and Twitch, Goodell said of adding more digital rights, “We will look at that very hard.” CNBC’s Julia Boorstin noted new and upcoming streaming platforms such as ESPN+ and HBO Max do not have NFL rights, asking Goodell if he is concerned those outlets will “draw eyeballs away from the platforms that do have your rights.” He replied, “No. … If you look at the big media players, the predominance is live sports. … We’re seeing that sports can aggregate that audience and deliver what those platforms really want. We’re seeing a lot of interest, and seeing how that worked on the linear channels -- on satellite and cable -- and how that can work in the context of these new platforms.”

MUM ON "TNF" TALKS: Goodell would not confirm directly that he has held talks with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos while in Sun Valley about expanding the company’s NFL rights beyond “TNF,” but he did say, “We talk about our relationships, how to expand our relationships, how to develop new relationships” (CNBC.com, 7/11).