The future of NFL Sunday Ticket still isn’t decided, but the league is weighing offers from Amazon, Apple and Disney that will significantly change the future of how fans watch football in the years to come.
After securing broadcasting rights deals with their television partners over a year ago, the National Football League has turned its focus towards streaming. With Amazon locked into a deal for Thursday Night Football, paying $1 billion per season, attention is now focused on the future of NFL Sunday Ticket.
After being partnered with DirecTV for more than two decades to provide fans access to every out-of-network game, the massive football bundle is now available. While it was once believed Apple and Amazon have reached been viewed as favorites to land Sunday Ticket in recent months, the competition for the NFL streaming package isn’t over.
According to Alex Sherman of CNBC, Disney, Apple and Amazon each submitted bids for NFL Sunday Ticket in recent weeks. The proposals are now being reviewed by the league, but there is no timetable for a decision to be made.
It’s all part of each company’s attempts to tap further into live sports, investing billions of dollars to become partnered with one of the most popular things among consumers in the United States. While moving from DirecTV to either Apple TV, Amazon Prime or ESPN+ might offer a larger potential audience than DirecTV, a move isn’t going to deliver everything football fans want.
Sherman notes that whichever company the NFL strikes a partnership with, there are guidelines in place that will greatly impact the price. NFL Sunday Ticket currently costs $300 and many hoped that would change, especially if Apple or Amazon acquired the streaming package to increase its subscribers.
However, per Sherman, the NFL’s broadcasting partnerships with Fox and CBS will prevent a significant price reduction. Both networks mandated language in their contracts that would prevent any NFL Sunday Ticket rights deal to forbid a significant price reduction.
It’s all in an effort from CBS and Fox to prevent losing millions of customers. If NFL Sunday Ticket became available at a significantly reduced rate, many football fans might move away from cable or online TV packages to exclusively have the Sunday Ticket package.
As a result, fans will likely be paying a similar price as they did when DirecTV had Sunday Ticket. It’s a stipulation the NFL and the companies bidding for Sunday Ticket are willing to accept, especially with the bids exceeding $2 billion per year.