Home / Technology / Apple is still in ‘early talks’ with the NFL about acquiring the rights to Sunday Ticket games

Apple is still in ‘early talks’ with the NFL about acquiring the rights to Sunday Ticket games



We’ve heard a couple of times that Apple has been in preliminary discussions with the NFL about acquiring the rights to its Sunday Ticket games. Now a new report from The Information says that “early talks” continue with a hint that Apple may be more serious about a deal.

We first heard about Apple being interested enough to talk to the NFL about buying Sunday Ticket streaming rights back in January. The out-of-market NFL package is currently offered through DirecTV, but the provider is giving up its rights after the 2022 season.

A few months later, we heard several analysts say the same thing with some optimism that it could fit well for Apple TV +. However, we also heard the opposite from CBS Sports veteran Neal Pilson.

Former CBS Sports chief and media consultant Neal Pilson told Athletic he thinks the Sunday Ticket will go digital, but “probably not Amazon or Apple.”

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Today’s report from The Information says that Apple is still in “early talks” with the NFL about acquiring the Sunday Ticket rights, and that it is still not seen as the most serious potential bidder, but that may change.

Still, there are signs that Apple’s attitude toward investing in programming may change. Last year, Apple hired James DeLorenzo to run the sports division for Apple TV +. DeLorenzo came from Amazon, where he as sports director for Amazon Video negotiated Amazon’s first deal with the NFL to stream live games. The move suggests that Apple is taking a closer look at bringing live sports into its still budding streaming business.

DirecTV reportedly pays $ 1.5 billion a year for Sunday ticket rights, and the NFL is expected to charge even more for the next buyer. Furthermore, it is said that DirecTV loses money in its time by holding the rights – up to 2.5 billion dollars.

It is unclear how Apple would approach the NFL Sunday Ticket if they purchased the rights, but it is possible it will be in addition to the regular Apple TV + cost of $ 4.99 / month.

One of the biggest benefits of Apple pursuing a deal like this would be gaining exposure to a much larger audience.

Getting the rights to the Sunday Ticket can expand the audience for Apple TV +. The Sunday Ticket service complements games shown on broadcast TV networks and Amazon. While these games show local matches, Sunday Ticket games have teams not available on the local Sunday afternoon NFL broadcast in their area. The product appeals to viewers who live far from home to the favorite football team. It is also aimed at sports bars that seek to attract fans of teams from other cities and states.

Both Apple CEO Tim Cook and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell are at the Sun Valley media conference with progress with a Sunday ticket deal on Goodell’s agenda.

Other interested parties in the NFL’s Sunday Ticket include Disney and possibly Amazon along with other more traditional media companies.

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