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NFL Commissioner Says League’s Media Sale is Still Months Away; Sunday Ticket Not Necessarily Included in Talks

Jeff Kotuby

While initial reports seemed to indicate otherwise, the NFL’s man in charge says that his league’s media entities won’t be getting sold anytime soon.

According to a report by Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell believes that the impending sale of NFL Network, NFL RedZone, and NFL.com is “months away, not days away.” “We have meetings later this week on this, it’s been a regular pattern of meetings,” Goodell said. “We’ve had a tremendous amount of interest from some terrific media partners, technology partners that are interested in our content, interested in our platforms, interested in everything from Sunday Ticket to NFL Network to RedZone to a lot of media assets we still have available, and we’re looking to deploy in a way that looks to the future in the next generation of media.”

To translate, this likely means the deal will get wrapped up sometime before the start of the next NFL season, unless it somehow glides through during this week’s meeting.

Goodell also slid in the news that NFL Sunday Ticket, the league’s out-of-market broadcasting service, may not necessarily be included in those discussions. “No, I would say we retain the rights to engage on any one of those pieces, whatever I would call media assets,” Goodell said. “They don’t have to go together, they might, they might not. That’s the thing that’s probably going to influence the timing a little bit more. There’s so much interest, you’ve got to figure out: Do you want to include this in a relationship or do you want to exclude that and keep it over here for another partner? I think that’s part of the issue we’re going through.”

Back in November, it was reported Amazon was interested in purchasing a minority stake in the NFL's media entities, which would further its relationship with the league. Amazon Prime Video is now the exclusive home of Thursday Night Football and Amazon also provides the league’s “Next-Gen Stats” that are supplied during broadcasts.

Regardless of who winds up the victor here, it would be a huge win for both sides. The NFL will have a tech-savvy partner that can help bring them into the new age of broadcasting, while this partner will be able to leverage the NFL name, which is worth its weight in gold these days. In an age where live sports reigns over all other broadcasts and the NFL is the king of kings, anyone would love the opportunity to have the NFL on their side.