Following reports that Apple TV+ has submitted a bid to pick up NFL Sunday Ticket rights last month, the streamer has received a boost following an admission by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Goodell has reportedly confirmed that Sunday Ticket will be available via a streaming service next time out, following a 30-year stint on DirecTV. Apple TV+ reportedly submitted a bid last month, with the NFL thought to want more than $2 billion in exchange for content rights. At the time, many were confused as to why a deal hadn’t already been struck.
Many observers, including some of the bidders themselves, have expressed surprise a deal hasn’t gotten done by now. The delay has to do with the mix of assets and associated partnership conversations wrapped up in the deal talks, two of the people said. If the discussions centered on Sunday Ticket only, an agreement probably would have already been reached, one of the people said.
Now, Deadline reports that Goodell says the deal terms “will be finalized by the fall” with Apple TV+ and Amazon likely two of the biggest players involved.
“I clearly believe we will be moving to a streaming service,” the commissioner told CNBC. He was speaking from Sun Valley, ID, where he is attending the Allen & Co. conference along with an array of media and tech execs, many of whom are NFL rightsholders.
Sunday Ticket will give subscribers of the winner streamer access to each game played on a Sunday. Regardless of their location, all of the 2022 season’s Sunday games will be streamed — although it remains to be seen what the state of play will be for international audiences. Apple does currently stream baseball games around the world, however.
While the commissioner had previously suggested that the NFL was leaning towards streaming, it was thought at the time that some sort of deal would be struck that would also include DirecTV. That doesn’t seem to have been completely ruled out following the latest news, either, although the commissioner’s use of the word “moving” could give us a hint.
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