NFL Sunday Ticket might soon have a new home on streaming.
As been previously reported, it is highly unlikely AT&T’s DirecTV will renew its deal for NFL Sunday Ticket. NFL Sunday Ticket allows viewers to watch any out-of-market NFL game on DirecTV, or via streaming for those who can’t get DirecTV.
In an interview with Front Office Sports, media analyst, Rich Greenfield, sees grabbing the package as an a major opportunity for Disney to reduce streaming churn. “Imagine the scenario where, in order to get Sunday Ticket, you have to be a subscriber to Hulu Live, and you have to take ESPN+,” Greenfield said to Front Office Sports. “If you’re a bundled subscriber of ESPN+ and Hulu Live, you can then pay a $300 premium for Sunday Ticket. That would be a very strategic and bold move for The Walt Disney Co.”
Former Disney CEO Bob Iger expressed interest in adding NFL Sunday Ticket to ESPN+ in the past, though nothing materialized. Iger said “there has been exploration whether there is an opportunity there. We are very bullish on the NFL.” ESPN’s current deal as the sole home of Monday Night Football is set to expire after this upcoming season.
ESPN+ has already built a PPV business around UFC, so it wouldn’t be unusual for them to create an add-on for the service. Also, they stream daily out-of-market MLB and NHL games, so could they offer an additional out-of-market game for ESPN+ subscribers even without a Sunday Ticket add-on?
Whoever steps in and grabs NFL's Sunday Ticket will hopefully make it less restrictive and expensive. Unlike Sunday Ticket, which costs $300-400, MLB.TV, NHL.TV, and NBA League Pass are widely available to all at a price for under $200.
However, NFL Sunday Ticket's rigid rights restrictions, which required customers to either have DirecTV or more or less live in an apartment, has kept it from being widely adopted by streamers. Instead, customers have chosen to stream NFL RedZone through Live TV Streaming Services like fuboTV , Sling TV, and YouTube TV.