TV Answer Man, I remember reading about Apple disclosing the NFL Sunday Ticket deal at their developers meeting. Did that happen yet? — Pete, Manhattan Beach, California.
Pete, Apple yesterday kicked off its 2022 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote address from company CEO Tim Cook. In the weeks leading up to the event, there were rumors that Cook would reveal that the company has captured the NFL Sunday Ticket deal starting with the 2023 season. (DIRECTV’s exclusive deal to carry the Ticket expires after the 2022 season.)
The chatter seems to have been triggered by an April report by The Puck’s Matthew Belloni that quoted an anonymous source as saying that Apple has secured the deal but wanted to keep that confidential for a time for reasons unexplained.
Since the WWDC was the first major Apple event since the Belloni report, the theory was that Cook would make the announcement in his keynote speech.
However, Cook yesterday did not reveal any Ticket agreement nor even mention that the company is seeking the contract. The Apple chief instead unveiled a series of software updates for its devices.
So, does this mean that Belloni’s report was premature and that Apple doesn’t have a deal?
Not necessarily. Apple could be waiting for another opportunity to spill the beans. The company has an event scheduled in September and what could be a better time to announce a football victory than September?
But it’s also possible that Belloni’s source misread the situation. Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reported after the Belloni report that his sources told him that both Amazon and Apple were still in contention for the next Ticket contract with ESPN a distant third. Plus, Belloni’s own article quoted another anonymous source as saying that Apple was in “the driver’s seat” to win the Ticket, but no deal was done.
The TV Answer Man will continue to monitor this situation and report back here if anything significant changes.
Until then, happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann