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Could DirecTV walk away from 'NFL Sunday Ticket'?

The NFL's exclusive deal with DirecTV for "NFL Sunday Ticket" is set to expire in 2015.

Speaking Wednesday at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference in Florida, DirecTV CFO Pat Doyle hinted that rising sports costs might lead to changes in how fans access the extremely popular product.

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, Doyle said DirecTV would consider a non-exclusive deal with the NFL if the price tag went too high in the next negotiation. Doyle left the door open that DirecTV might drop "Sunday Ticket" entirely.

The NFL signed a four-year, $4 billion extension with DirecTV in 2009, ensuring the "Sunday Ticket" package would be available exclusively on DirecTV through the 2014 season.

It's a hefty price (even amongst corporate giants), though it's impossible to deny the big business NFL fans have brought back DirecTV's way. DirecTV long has cited the package as a major selling point for its product.

Doyle's intimation that DirecTV might walk away from its relationship with the NFL is part of the game. If it ever happened, another carrier surely would pay the price to show every NFL regular-season game. We hope this doesn't end with you needing a new cable box.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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