You may or may not have heard that DirecTV has decided not to renew its contract with NFL Sunday Ticket after the 2022 season. This has created a significant opportunity for streaming platforms to secure the popular package, including all Sunday games except those restricted locally.
The football package, which currently has around 2 million subscribers per year, costs about $300 for a season-long subscription. Individuals eligible but who do not have DirecTV access can purchase the package directly from the source NFL SUNDAY TICKET.
According to The Information, a tech news site, Apple is already in early talks with the National Football League about the games, citing “people familiar with the situation” as their source. As a result, Apple TV is the most likely frontrunner for the package.
For a long time, many streaming platforms, including Prime Video, have offered live sports. Despite this, Apple hasn’t made it a priority until now, after hiring Amazon Video’s former head of sports, James DeLorenzo, to lead its own sports division last year. With its own Apple TV streaming devices, Apple TV app and platform, and Apple TV+ streaming service with original content such as the TV series Ted Lasso, Apple has emerged as a significant player in the streaming wars.
According to NBC News, Amazon and ESPN are also involved, making sense given that Amazon Prime Video began streaming Thursday Night Football games in 2017. In May, the NFL announced that Amazon would be the exclusive home of Thursday Night Football beginning in 2022.
During the company’s earnings call in May, Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Chapek expressed interest in the package. “That’s something we’re talking about, considering, and thinking about,” he said. “It’s an appealing property, but we’ll only do it, like our other rights, if it adds shareholder value.”
While formal bidding for NFL Sunday Ticket has not yet begun, the discussion has already started at this week’s Allen & Company conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was in attendance, as was Robert Kraft, chairman of the NFL ownership group’s media committee and owner of the New England Patriots, and Apple CEO Tim Cook and Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue.
Talks have been ongoing, and bidding will most likely take place over the next year, with both traditional TV and digital media companies vying for Sunday games.