DirecTV offers the Sunday Ticket, which features out-of-market NFL games, as a premium service. Those who pay extra can have the games streamed over their mobile devices. AT&T could use the NFL games as a way to expand market share. Currently, Verizon offers a monthly subscription to NFL Mobile, which includes Red Zone and weekly games streamed each Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights during the season. In addition, Big Red is allowed to stream games involving the subscriber's home-market team.
DirecTV's contract with the NFL expires at the end of the current season, and if the deal isn't renewed, AT&T has the right to pull out of the deal to buy the satellite content provider. An AT&T acquisition of DirecTV wouldn't necessarily give it the rights to stream the games to smartphones and tablets. DirecTV's deal with the NFL covers only those paying for the satellite service. Some of the analysts said that AT&T was merely expressing a hypothetical situation and was talking more about a long term plan to bundle NFL Ticket to mobile subscribers in the future.