Amazon and Apple are now the front-runners to carry the NFL Sunday Ticket when the league’s current deal with DIRECTV expires after the 2022 season, reports John Ourand of Sports Business Journal.
Ourand writes that Disney is still negotiating for the next Sunday Ticket contract for its ESPN+ streaming service. But he adds that “the amount that Disney has told the NFL it will pay is said to be well below the amount Apple and Amazon have discussed.”
As for DIRECTV, Ourand says the satcaster is negotiating for a license to continuing selling the Ticket to restaurants and bars, something it has done for years. It’s unclear if DIRECTV would retain any other rights in the next contract, such as offering the Ticket in rural markets where streaming is still unreliable. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported last Sunday that DIRECTV could be the Ticket’s rural provider in partnership with a streaming company.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek has said publicly that his company is bidding for the Ticket. But Ourand writes that some “Disney insiders have been lukewarm to Sunday Ticket, believing that it would be wiser to spend that money elsewhere.”
The Sports Business Journal article also suggests that the Sunday Ticket will continue to require a premium subscription price in 2023 because CBS and Fox have clauses in their NFL TV contracts mandating that. DIRECTV’s base price for the Ticket is now $293 a season.
Ourand reports that the final contract for the Sunday Ticket could be more than $2 billion per year. DIRECTV is now paying $1.5 billion per year.
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