Will Apple sell single-game NFL ticket plans on Sunday?
TV Answer Man, I’m glad Apple is getting the NFL Sunday Ticket so we don’t need DIRECTV to watch it. Do you think Apple will sell a single game or a team plan like MLB.TV? —Bob, Cleveland.
Bob, for starters, Apple didn’t win the next NFL Sunday Ticket contract. Not yet. Several news reports point to Apple as the leader, but Amazon, Disney (for ESPN+), and Google (for YouTube or YouTube TV) are still in contention.
Brian Rolapp, the league’s director of media and affairs, recently told the New York Times that “a number of companies are in a strong position to potentially land Sunday Ticket, but we still have some way to go in this. process”.
(DIRECTV now has the rights to the out-of-market Sunday afternoon games package, but the satellite broadcaster has publicly stated that it is not interested in continuing as the exclusive carrier when its current pact expires after the season. 2022. DIRECTV said it hopes to share post with a streaming company after this upcoming season. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he thinks a streaming company will get the next Ticket contract.)
But if the ticket offer goes to any new company, as expected, sell the Ticket differently from DIRECTV? Could he offer the single-team package or single-game plans as well as the traditional way of including all out-of-market Sunday afternoon games for one price? (DIRECTV offered one-week plans but stopped last season.)
The bidding companies haven’t released their plans for the ticket, so it’s hard to say. However, a recent Sports Illustrated guest column by Rolapp sparked speculation that only one team or game option could be added from 2023.
“NFL Sunday Ticket has been a fan staple since its inception in 1994, providing avid fans with a way to watch every NFL game played on Sunday,” Rolapp wrote. “But we believe it can be much better and we are planning a further NFL Sunday Ticket rollout for the 2023 season. Although we are not ready to reveal it yet, one thing we can say is that it will be more innovative, accessible and digital.
The key word here is innovative. While that could mean anything, previous reports have quoted unnamed sources as saying that Apple is considering offering unique game plans if it gets the ticket. Some journalists have linked Rolapp’s statement to previous reports to suggest game or team plans are in the works.
Conclusion: It is certainly possible that a streaming company tries to maximize its revenue and its audience by offering the Ticket in several ways. But until the league makes its decision – expected by the end of the year – we won’t know for sure.
Bob, hope this helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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