Apple in Talks With NFL for Sunday Ticket Streaming
Apple is interested in streaming rights for the National Football League's "Sunday Ticket" package, reports The Information. Apple has had discussions with NFL executives, but the NFL is also speaking with TV networks and other tech firms as well.
Sunday Ticket streaming content currently airs on DirecTV, but it is up for auction and should Apple acquire the rights, out-of-market fans will be able to watch non-prime time games from all 32 NFL teams on Apple TV+.
DirecTV pays somewhere around $1.5 billion to broadcast the Sunday Ticket games, but its deal with the NFL expires in 2022, paving the way for other networks to bid on the package. The NFL is looking to get more money when establishing a new deal.
ESPN parent company Disney is said to be interested in acquiring the rights for the ESPN streaming service, and according to The Information, Apple is not seen as a serious contender for the rights because it has been reluctant to invest money in entertainment programming.
That said, Apple has an ongoing relationship with the National Football League, and in 2020, hired James DeLorenzo to run a sports division for Apple TV+. DeLorenzo previously negotiated Amazon's deal with the NFL to stream live games.
Apple previously held talks with the Pac-12 conference about live streaming college sports, but nothing ever came of those talks and there continues to be little sports-related content on Apple TV+.
Acquiring the rights to the NFL's Sunday Ticket package would draw a wider audience to Apple TV+, appealing to those who live away from their favorite football teams.