Google has joined Amazon, Apple and Disney/ESPN+ in making a bid for the next NFL Sunday Ticket contract, according to a new report from the New York Times.
DIRECTV now has the rights to the package of out-of-market Sunday afternoon games, but the satcaster has said publicly that it’s not interested in continuing as an exclusive carrier when its current pact expires after the 2022 season. (DIRECTV has said it hopes to share the Ticket with a streaming company after this upcoming season. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he believes a streaming company will get the next Ticket contract.)
The Times reports that Apple is the front runner to carry the Ticket starting in 2023, a scenario that has been previously reported by CNBC and other news publications. However, the newspaper is the first to report that Google is bidding for the contract as well.
Google, which owns YouTube and YouTube TV, could be interested in using the Sunday Ticket to throw a knockout blow in the live streaming category. YouTube TV recently said it now has five million subscribers, which is more than any other live streaming rival, including Hulu and DIRECTV Stream. The addition of the Sunday Ticket could further separate YouTube TV from the pack.
The NFL says it expects to make a decision on the next Ticket contract in “the coming months.”
“A number of companies are in strong position to potentially land Sunday Ticket, but we still have a ways to go in this process,” an NFL spokesman told the Times.
So we now have four bids (Disney, Google, Apple and Amazon) but no resolution in sight.
Is there any conclusion we can draw other than the league isn’t satisfied with the current bids?
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— Phillip Swann