Apple Reportedly Bid on NFL Sunday Ticket 'Weeks Ago' and Still Awaiting Answer
Apple, Disney, and Amazon all submitted bids for the National Football League's out-of-market Sunday Ticket package "weeks ago" and are waiting to see who wins streaming rights to the package, according to CNBC's Alex Sherman and Jessica Golden.
"The NFL continues to be in discussion with all three bidders as it decides which partner it will choose," the report claims, despite an earlier report claiming that a deal between Apple and the NFL was "done" and "being kept quiet at Apple's request." The NFL is said to be looking for more than $2 billion for the Sunday Ticket streaming rights and a stake in NFL Media, which oversees the NFL Network channel, NFL.com, and more.
Sunday Ticket broadcasts all regional NFL games on Sunday afternoons to out-of-market viewers. In the United States, the package has been exclusively distributed by DirecTV since 1994, but the deal is set to expire ahead of the 2023 NFL season and DirecTV is reportedly not interested in renewing its exclusive rights to the package.
Sunday Ticket would add to Apple's growing portfolio of live sports content available through the Apple TV app. Apple already reached a partnership with Major League Baseball to air a weekly "Friday Night Baseball" doubleheader on Apple TV+ for the 2022 season, and Apple also reached a 10-year agreement with Major League Soccer that will see every game streamed through the Apple TV app without blackouts starting in early 2023.
It's unclear when the NFL will publicly reveal the future home of Sunday Ticket. Given that DirecTV still holds the rights to the package for the upcoming 2022 season, CNBC reports that there is no urgency for an announcement.