- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 1, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - The NFL has extended its contract with satellite provider DirecTV to carry the “Sunday Ticket” package, which allows viewers to watch out-of-market games.

The deal expands DirecTV’s rights to stream the package live on mobile devices and online. The agreement is worth $12 billion over eight years - $1.5 billion annually, according to a person familiar with the contract.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the figures were not made public.

The previous deal was worth about $1 billion a year.

AT&T; is in the process of acquiring DirecTV for $48.5 billion, making the expanded possibilities for mobile particularly attractive.

Wednesday’s announcement shows the lasting popularity of the NFL even as the league has endured weeks of turmoil over its handling of domestic violence cases. Its typically huge TV ratings have remained steady so far this season.

This was the last big renewal for the NFL’s TV packages. In 2011, the league extended its deals with CBS, Fox and NBC for nine years through the 2022 season. That increased the total revenues from those three networks from the $1.93 billion per year at the time to $3.1 billion by the end of the contracts.

A few months earlier, the NFL and ESPN had reached an eight-year extension to keep “Monday Night Football” on the cable channel through the 2021 season, increasing the rights fee from $1.1 to 1.9 billion annually.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a release Wednesday that DirecTV and the “NFL Sunday Ticket” package “have served our fans well for 20 years and continue to complement our broadcast television packages.”

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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