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Apple is interested in streaming rights for the National Football League's "Sunday Ticket" package, reports The Information. Apple has had discussions with NFL executives, but the NFL is also speaking with TV networks and other tech firms as well.

nfl-sunday-ticket.jpg

Sunday Ticket streaming content currently airs on DirecTV, but it is up for auction and should Apple acquire the rights, out-of-market fans will be able to watch non-prime time games from all 32 NFL teams on Apple TV+.

DirecTV pays somewhere around $1.5 billion to broadcast the Sunday Ticket games, but its deal with the NFL expires in 2022, paving the way for other networks to bid on the package. The NFL is looking to get more money when establishing a new deal.

ESPN parent company Disney is said to be interested in acquiring the rights for the ESPN streaming service, and according to The Information, Apple is not seen as a serious contender for the rights because it has been reluctant to invest money in entertainment programming.

That said, Apple has an ongoing relationship with the National Football League, and in 2020, hired James DeLorenzo to run a sports division for Apple TV+. DeLorenzo previously negotiated Amazon's deal with the NFL to stream live games.

Apple previously held talks with the Pac-12 conference about live streaming college sports, but nothing ever came of those talks and there continues to be little sports-related content on Apple TV+.

Acquiring the rights to the NFL's Sunday Ticket package would draw a wider audience to Apple TV+, appealing to those who live away from their favorite football teams.

Article Link: Apple in Talks With NFL for Sunday Ticket Streaming
 

CWallace

macrumors G3
Aug 17, 2007
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Seattle, WA
Looking forward to the NFL Sunday Ticket Apple TV Channel for $79.99/month

It would be interesting to see how Apple would price it if they win it.

It looks like it runs $300 on DirecTV for existing customers, which would be $25 a month (or $400 a year for Max, which would be $34 a month). I could see Apple treating it as a "channel" like the other streaming services (Disney+, Paramount+, etc.) and charging $24.99 a month for it.

And could we see more bundles like the Paramount+/SHOWTIME deal for $9.99a month? Maybe ESPN+ and NFL Sunday Ticket for $29.99 a month? Or add NFL to the Disney+/ESPN+/HULU bundle and sell all four for $39.99 a month?
 
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mnsportsgeek

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Feb 24, 2009
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It would be interesting to see how Apple would price it if they win it. It looks like it runs $300 on DirecTV for existing customers, which would be $25 a month (or $400 a year for Max, which would be $34 a month).

I could see Apple treating it as a "channel" like the other streaming services and (Disney+, Paramount+, etc.) charging $24.99 a month for it.
It's typically billed across ~4 months or all at once. I doubt anyone would offer a subscription option that charges people for the 8 months a year there is no football considering how villified contracts have become in the news and on social media.
 
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Apple_Robert

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In the middle of several books.
It would be interesting to see how Apple would price it if they win it. It looks like it runs $300 on DirecTV for existing customers, which would be $25 a month (or $400 a year for Max, which would be $34 a month).

I could see Apple treating it as a "channel" like the other streaming services and (Disney+, Paramount+, etc.) charging $24.99 a month for it.
I like my football but, I am not going to pay a potential $300 or $400 a year to stream games in addition to the standard price of AppleTV.
 
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mnsportsgeek

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Feb 24, 2009
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I like my football but, I am not going to pay a potential $300 or $400 a year to stream games in addition to the standard price of AppleTV.
It would likely be more since anyone who steals this from ATT would say that you no longer need to spend $100/mo for a satellite service you don't want.

ATT still says you can only buy Sunday Ticket standalone if you live in a place where you can't get Satellite TV.
 
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CWallace

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Aug 17, 2007
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It's typically billed across ~4 months or all at once. I doubt anyone would offer a subscription option that charges people for the 8 months a year there is no football considering how villified contracts have become in the news and on social media.

I guess it depends on how Apple wants to structure the payments.

If they do decide to do it as a lump sum or over, say, 4-5 payments and you use your Apple Card to pay for it, would you get 12 months SAC? That could help "lighten the hit" for people plus they should get 3% of that back in Apple Cash.
 
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Apple_Robert

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Sep 21, 2012
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In the middle of several books.
It would likely be more since anyone who steals this from ATT would say that you no longer need to spend $100/mo for a satellite service you don't want.

ATT still says you can only buy Sunday Ticket standalone if you live in a place where you can't get Satellite TV.
Apple definitely has the clout to purchase the ticket. It will be interesting to see what, if any, game plan Apple and others in position come up with, and possibly agree on.
 
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SteveAbootman

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May 12, 2008
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This may be turn out to be unfounded but I really hope we don't see price increases to add sports.

It's unlikely to impact base prices in a significant way. I'm almost certain it would be sold as a premium tier on any streaming service. The key being you have to subscribe to the basic service in order to buy the premium tier.

Honestly. All I care about is NFL redzone. I could do without anything else. Just let me subscribe to Redzone.

I'd be shocked, but very pleased if they offered more than an all-or-nothing model. NBA League Pass does some pretty cool stuff where you can buy games for just your team, buy a single game, buy on a month basis, etc. I would hope this next contract allows whoever gets the rights to be creative with subscriptions models to be more in line with how people consume media today.
 
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happygodavid

macrumors regular
May 14, 2007
214
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Northern Virginia
My wife and I have subscribed to both NFL Ticket and GamePass. GamePass is okay for out of market games, but NFL ticket wasn’t worth it for us. For both, the Apple TV UI is awful. Customer service is awful. Half the time, games don’t work til the next day, etc. etc. They’re two of the worst services I’ve ever subscribed to, and I cannot stand that we are tied to that horrific service to watch the Vikings.

Point being, I am thrilled to hear that Apple or Amazon or Disney or ANYONE in the tech or entertainment world—who is even SLIGHTLY more trustworthy or competent as a company than the NFL and/or Direct TV—is interested in taking things over. Almost anything from any of those companies would be an improvement.
 
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icwhatudidthere

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Nov 3, 2019
134
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It's unlikely to impact base prices in a significant way. I'm almost certain it would be sold as a premium tier on any streaming service. The key being you have to subscribe to the basic service in order to buy the premium tier.
That does make sense, especially for something like this which is a high priced package. I'm all for it as long as Apple doesn't go down the current model that other services seem to be doing: chase customers by adding channels and increase prices for everyone.
 
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JagRunner

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Oct 18, 2018
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Disney has a better chance than Apple does. Like the article says, Apple isn't seen as a serious contender because they haven't invested in entertainment. AppleTV+ is trash.
 
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Cosmosent

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Apr 20, 2016
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Streaming "popular" live sporting events is a major challenge, even today !

Is Apple ready ?

Very hard to say, but I welcome their move into Live Sports Streaming.

It is where Cable & Satellite TV have their (clear) advantage.

IMO, Apple can't offer it for FREE to everyone who has their TV service.

IMO, they should require Users to pay ONE U.S. BUCK per game, to filter-off those who aren't really interested, thus saving precious Server-side bandwidth !
 
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turbineseaplane

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Mar 19, 2008
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Probably will be $499

"Nobody does it like Apple"
"We've rebuilt the whole experience from the ground up with world class luxury materials, engineering and design."


"Tim..It's just streaming football games - like it's just live videos of football"
Tim: "Oh"
 
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IIGS User

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Feb 24, 2019
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1,533
It’s my understanding that NFL ratings have been steadily decreasing the past few years. Even with people stuck home during the pandemic. I could be wrong, but if that’s the case, could it be that DirectTV isn’t willing to pay the freight the NFL thinks it’s worth for the rights?

These are long term contracts with Billions of dollars to be made and lost. Regardless of your opinion, a lot of people were turned off by the politics of sports this past year and that effects viewership. Mind you, this isn’t a political statement, but an analysis of audience size and potential revenue. This along with issues surrounding concussions leads me to think the NFL isn’t going to be the universal money maker it’s been for the past 50+ years.

Apple has money to burn, so it’s worth betting it on something. This isn’t a BAD bet but I have to think the NFL thinks it’s worth more than it really is over the next 10 years….
 
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