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Report: Apple Looking to Acquire All Remaining NFL Mobile, Streaming Rights

Matt Tamanini

According to Front Office Sports, Apple might be in the market for more NFL content than just the much-discussed “NFL Sunday Ticket” package. Last month it was reported that the company was one of the leaders to acquire the broadcast rights to the package that allows fans to watch all out-of-market NFL games, but those negotiations have expanded as Apple is apparently is exploring the option of bundling all of the league’s outstanding broadcast rights into one multi-billion dollar deal.

If Apple were to land the rights, not only would the company’s streaming service Apple TV+ be the new home for “Sunday Ticket,” but they would also own the streaming rights for games on mobile devices; the company would also purchase an equity stake in NFL Media. The “Sunday Ticket” rights alone are expected to fetch north of $2 billion, so the price tag for all three NFL assets would be significant.

Amazon — who has already secured the rights to broadcast “Thursday Night Football” — is also a contender to purchase the “Sunday Ticket” rights and a non-majority stake in NFL Media, the company behind the NFL Network, NFL.com, and NFL RedZone. The league could maximize profits by selling each asset individually, rather than bundling them to an individual company, but FOS reports that there is value in the NFL going all-in with Apple.

According to their sources, the league is “intrigued” about potentially aligning itself with the most valuable company in the world. Given the size and profitability of Apple, it could be a significant boon in the growing international expansion of NFL content.

For Apple, it makes sense as to why they would like to make their streaming service the home of the United States’ content kings. Since the launch of Apple TV+, the platform has spent a lot of money and had occasional breakthrough hits — “Ted Lasso” most notably — but they have yet to become a significant player in the space in comparison to some of the other more recent streaming additions. However, the company has been increasingly active in attempting to acquire sports rights, and adding live NFL content would almost immediately raise the profile of the service from after-thought to must-have.

While talks with Amazon, Apple, Disney, and others have increased since the Super Bowl concluded in February, the NFL is not expected to finalize any plans until the summer.

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