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Could NFL Sunday Ticket Move to Apple TV+?

Jason Gurwin

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 report by The Information, Apple has reportedly expressed interest for the NFL’s out-of-market package, NFL Sunday Ticket.

Apple hired 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.

In March, there was a report that ESPN+ could be the new rights holder to the package.

During Disney’s Q2 investor call, CEO Bob Chapek said the company is “in conversations” regarding the package and leaders are “considering” it.

Earlier, 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?

Additional speculation suggests that Amazon Prime Video — which already has obtained exclusive rights to the NFL’s Thursday Night Football package beginning in 2022 — may be the place where Sunday Ticket lands.

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, YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV.

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