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Report: Amazon Emerges As Front-Runner For New NFL Sunday Ticket Home

Michael King

Amazon has emerged as the likely front-runner to obtain the rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket package according to sources familiar with the matter, CNBC said on Friday afternoon.

Amazon has already obtained the exclusive rights to stream the Thursday Night Football package beginning in 2022, and according to the sources CNBC referenced, has a serious interest in the multi-year-package of out-of-market games. The streamer paid about $1 billion per year for rights to the Thursday night package, which will make Prime Video the first streaming service to hold exclusive rights to an NFL broadcast deal.

The NFL is expected to seek somewhere between $2 billion and $2.5 billion for the Sunday Ticket package, that has been held by DirecTV for 27 years. The league reportedly wants to close the deal before the end of the current season in February 2022. In 2014, DirecTV renewed the current NFL Sunday Ticket contract for eight years, which will end following the 2022-23 season.

According to CNBC, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the out-of-market package “may be more attractive on a digital platform” as streaming platforms continue to add subscribers at the expense of traditional pay-television.

Goodell spoke with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin earlier this week about recent reports that the league could partner with a digital media entity to run Sunday Ticket. He speculated that such a deal could include NFL RedZone, NFL Network, or even NFL.com.

“We have a tremendous amount of interest from tech partners, traditional media companies,” Goodell told Boorstin. “What we’re looking to do is bring in a strategic partner who will help us look at our assets and figure out how to take them into the next technology. We’re not getting out — we’re going to continue to be investors.”

Boorstin also brought up another interesting name — Apple. Apple would no doubt love to bring live sports to Apple TV+ and the company was potentially linked to Sunday Ticket in the past. In July, The Information reported Apple was interested in the NFL’s out-of-market package. Apple also hired former Amazon head of sports James DeLorenzo in June 2020, who negotiated Amazon’s deal with the NFL, to run the sports division for ‌Apple TV+‌. They had previously been in talks to acquire streaming rights to the Pac-12 Network.

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