NFL reportedly considers Sunday ticket “a streaming product”
NFL commissioner Rodger Goodell considers NFL Sunday Ticket a “streaming product,” according to a CNBC report. Goodell made the comment during Tuesday’s owners meeting while discussing the future of the non-market gaming service and the league’s transition to digital platforms.
“I think it’s best for our fans to make it accessible on a digital platform,” he said.
The NFL’s current deal with DirecTV, which is owned by AT&T, expires in 2023. Sunday Ticket is a major source of revenue for the league, with DirecTV contributing $ 1 billion per year on the current deal. Rumors suggest the NFL will ask for at least double when the deal expires. If the league decides to go in a different direction, it will be the first time the satellite provider has not hosted the service since its inception in 1994.
As we reported earlier, the NFL is hoping to strike a deal with Apple, while Apple would benefit from using it as a vehicle to develop Apple TV +. Combined with the popularity of their hardware like the iPhone and iPad, Apple already has a way of putting live games in the hands of fans.
However, Apple faces competition from another tech giant. Amazon is also rumored to be interested in purchasing the rights. Amazon Prime Video is already the streaming house for thursday eveningt Soccer and if the company could add Sunday Ticket to its growing portfolio, it would become the premier venue for NFL football.
Disney-owned sports streaming service ESPN + could be a dark horse in the race to acquire Sunday Ticket. With ESPN being the home of Monday night football, Wildcard games and having an existing relationship with the league, Sunday Ticket would be a perfect fit for the world leader in sports. There are rumors suggesting that Disney may be looking to divest the network, and if it becomes the streaming home to live off-market NFL games, that will only increase its value.
Goodell and the NFL want to find a home for the Sunday Ticket before the start of the 2022 season. DirecTV has yet to completely drop the ball, as it has its own streaming service, DirecTV Stream, so they are not completely excluded. After rebranding the service from AT&T TV, DirecTV Stream attempted to increase brand awareness through show sponsorships, according to the CNBC report.
Not only is the NFL considering removing the Sunday Ticket from satellite as a user-friendly alternative to cut the cord, but there could be changes to the service. Like other sports streaming services, fans can purchase individual team matches on the ticket, according to the CNBC report. The league is said to be interested in doubling down on streaming services as their traditional TV packages by allowing a streaming platform to broadcast every conference.
Time will tell what the NFL decides to do with one of its most valuable properties. It remains to be seen whether DirecTV retains the rights to Sunday Ticket beyond the 2022 season or whether a streaming service intercepts for a touchdown. Until then, cable cutters can find out how to watch the NFL without cables below.