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Report: Apple Still Frontrunner for NFL Sunday Ticket, Price Tag Pushes ESPN Out

Stephen Silver

The NFL’s long quest to find a new, lucrative home for its NFL Sunday Ticket out-of-market package appears to be inching closer to a resolution. Last week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told CNBC that he believed that Sunday Ticket would likely land on a streaming service in 2023, and that the bidding would be resolved before the start of the season this fall.

Now, there’s more indication of where the talks are going.

Puck News’ Dylan Byers, reported on Wednesday that after talking with industry insiders at the Allen & Company Conference in Idaho that the eventual Sunday Ticket deal — which was previously expected to gain about $2 billion a year — is now seen as approaching $3 billion.

This price escalation means that [Disney], which bid under $2 billion, has been “effectively removed” from the negotiation process, meaning that the Sunday Ticket will not end up ESPN+. Other potential old-media bidders, like Fox, Paramount/CBS, and Comcast/NBC, are also out, leaving it a two-horse race between Apple and Amazon. And while it’s not a “done deal,” as reports this spring had indicated that it might be, Apple remains the favorite according to Byers.

“While nothing has been signed or agreed to,” he wrote, “I have been given ample reason to believe that Apple is the most likely winner of the sweepstakes.”

The piece also confirmed recent reports that both Apple and Amazon are also bidding on the U.S. broadcast rights for UEFA Champions League soccer.

NFL Sunday Ticket

NFL Sunday Ticket is a subscription video streaming service that allows football fans to watch every live out-of-market NFL game on Sunday afternoons. It is included free for new DirecTV subscribers (allowing streaming through the NFL Sunday Ticket App), or it can be purchased as a standalone streaming product if you live in a dorm or apartment without access to the satellite version of NFL Sunday Ticket.

Unlike NFL RedZone, which bounces from game to game, Sunday Ticket is superior for fans who want to see every play of their favorite teams, even if they don’t live where the games are locally televised.

Sunday Ticket offers three plans: the Student Plan for US$ 99.96 / año, the To Go Plan for US$ 293.96 / año, and the Max Plan for US$ 395.99 / año.

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