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The Streamable Search

DAZN Chairman John Skipper Confirms DAZN Wanted NFL Sunday Ticket, but It’s No Longer an Option

Jason Gurwin

Going into the 2019 season, there was hope that streamers would be able to watch NFL Sunday Ticket online, even if they didn’t subscribe to DirecTV.

In the deal’s current form, DirecTV can only offer the out-of-market package to satellite subscribers and those who can’t access DirecTV service like apartment dwellers and students. While there was talk of the league opting-out of a deal this season to offer a more affordable streaming plan, and the league unwilling to forgo the $1.5 billion annually that they get paid by DirecTV for the exclusive rights to NFL Sunday Ticket.

In an interview at the Recode Media Conference, DAZN Chairman John Skipper confirmed that the streaming service wanted in on the U.S. rights to NFL Sunday Ticket. “They explored with their current partner, AT&T, whether or not they would sell an over-the-top package. And we were interested and we told them we’d be interested anytime it comes up.”

Internationally, U.S. sports has been a huge driver of DAZN’s growth mainly from NFL/MLB in which they have streaming rights in markets like Canada and Japan DAZN has rights to NFL Sunday Ticket, NFL RedZone, Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Serie A and LaLiga, which is available to subscribers at just $20 a month.

In the U.S., though, the focus has been on Boxing and MMA through deals with Golden Boy Promotions, Bellator and Matchroom Boxing, the company that signed an 11-fight $365mm deal with Canelo Alvarez.

But Skipper says that they know how important the NFL is to the future of the streaming service: “You can build a new platform in this country on the NFL.”

But when asked by Recode’s Peter Kafka whether a streaming deal for NFL Sunday Ticket was still available, Skipper confirmed that it wasn’t. So, for now, it looks like fans will have to wait until 2022 when the current deal expires for it to expand past just AT&T. But when it does, expect that DAZN, along with other streamers like ESPN+, will be among the top bidders.