AT&T + DirecTV = NFL

Ah, now I get it:

Having access to premium content is key to AT&T’s ambition to become a major player in the world of streaming video. “DirecTV is way ahead of AT&T in terms of licensing deals. Something like NFL Sunday Ticket is a game-changer for AT&T if they can offer it as part of a package to their wireless customers,” says Rayburn. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said on an investor call this morning the deal will allow AT&T to offer premium video on all screens, from TVs to smartphones, from cars to airplanes.

Just how important is big-ticket content like the NFL? The deal terms actually stipulate that AT&T can walk away from the merger if DirecTV doesn’t win the contract with the NFL to renew that exclusive.

It is about content, just not about original content.