DirecTV Must Renew ‘NFL Sunday Ticket’ or AT&T Could Back Out of Deal

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**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest communications mergers in Q1 2014.**

If DirecTV can’t get its lucrative NFL Sunday Ticket service renewed, pending buyer AT&T Inc. could back out of the $48.5 billion deal.  

If that circumstance arose, AT&T would not sue DirectTV, so long as the satellite provider “used its reasonable best efforts to obtain such renewal," AT&T wrote in a May 19 Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

AT&T revealed other ways the transaction could fall through, and how much DirecTV would be obligated to pay as a result.

For example, if the merger is not completed by May 18, 2015, or if DirecTV stockholders give the thumbs-down, either company may terminate the deal. Along those lines, if the DirecTV board changes its recommendations before securing stockholder approval, AT&T may put the kibosh on the deal. In the event that any of that occurs, or if DirecTV lands a better offer, the satellite provider must pay AT&T a $1.445 billion termination fee.

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