NFL Sunday Ticket has been an indispensable resource for displaced and out-of-market NFL fans for many, many years. And for many, many years, one would have to be a subscriber to DirecTV in order to be able to access it, which not everybody always found to be convenient.
It could soon be, however, that the league’s package is in somebody else’s hands, and apparently, that somebody else could be Apple. Via Pro Football Talk, according to Matthew Belloni PUCK.news, in fact, there is already a deal done, but it hasn’t yet been announced, at Apple’s request.
As Mike Florio notes, DirecTV still holds the rights for the Sunday Ticket package through the 2022 season, but if Belloni’s sources are correct, then those customers will have to turn to Apple as early as 2023 for those same services.
Apple, of course, has its own streaming platform, Apple+, as Amazon has with Prime, which has for a number of years now owned streaming rights to certain NFL broadcasts in various forms, a relationship that has continued to evolve over the years.
Florio adds that Belloni wrote the NFL likes to distribute its broadcasting rights around to a number of different partners in order to try to get as many people as possible invested in the game’s success. They certainly have been doing that lately.
In fact, a number of new broadcasting deals will be coming into effect this year and next year, not only changing the viewing landscape, but also reshaping the NFL’s salary cap in the process by bringing in all of that new broadcasting revenue into the teams’ coffers, which then is distributed through the cap to the players.
According to Florio, the price for the Sunday Ticket package could be in the territory of $2.5 billion, obviously a very significant investment, but certainly one that would be worth it. Sunday Ticket has been an essential offering for DirecTV for many years, and one wonders how much its business will suffer without it.
The package’s rights moving to Apple, in fact, could potentially make it easier, or at least more inviting, for many to access it, even if their streaming platform is not the largest in the world. Having this year’s Oscar winner for Best Picture probably didn’t hurt them any, though.