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Back in July, rumors suggested that Apple was pursuing streaming rights for the National Football League's "Sunday Ticket" package, and as of this week, there is a report suggesting that the deal could already be done.

nfl-sunday-ticket-feature.jpg

NFL Sunday Ticket has been described as "Apple's to lose" by Matthew Belloni of Puck News in a report that's been making the rounds today. In fact, he says that the deal is "actually done" according to one of his sources, and is being kept quiet at the behest of Apple.
My sources say it's Apple's to lose, at this point. (One source told me this weekend that the deal is actually done and is being kept quiet at Apple's request, which I haven't confirmed and don't know for a fact; Apple isn't commenting.) That would make sense: Even after winning top Emmys and the best picture Oscar, C.E.O. Tim Cook has said Apple is merely in its early days of premium video, and nothing is more premium than NFL football. Plus, it would explain Apple's recent foray into live events and advertising with MLB games.
Given that the information comes from unspecified sources and has yet to be confirmed, it should be viewed with some skepticism at this point. Apple was in talks with NFL executives last year, but there was competition from other TV networks and tech firms like Amazon.

Sunday Ticket airs on DirecTV, but rights are up for auction as the NFL's DirecTV deal is expiring after the 2022 season. DirecTV paid around $1.5 billion for the games, but whoever wins the rights for the 2023 season will likely pay around $2.5 billion.

Should Apple win the bid for Sunday Ticket, out-of-market fans will be able to watch non-prime time games from all 32 NFL teams on Apple TV+. Sunday Ticket would join Friday Night Baseball, which Apple airs each Friday as part of a deal with Major League Baseball.

Article Link: Apple May Have Already Inked Deal for NFL Sunday Ticket
 
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ipedro

macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
6,221
8,458
Toronto, ON
Apple could've taken the outside route like they often do and helped to build something themselves.

Buying a stake in the XFL is a bet I think is worth taking. The simplified rules and faster action of the latest season, had me, someone who could never get into NFL, watching and growing into a fan. The XFL was picking up steam and getting great reviews and a buzz of NFL players rumoured to be making the switch, then it got knocked out by the pandemic shutdown forcing it out just as it was picking up momentum.

Having Apple as a technology partner would be great. It would also be a cheap acquisition.
 

tothemoonsands

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2018
513
1,078
Absolutely massive, if true. I'd easily pay ~$199-$299 for Sunday Ticket via Apple TV+. I hope Apple eventually secures UFC rights away from ESPN. Although, this would be deep into their roll-out given they are taking a very family friendly approach so far (then again, UFC has gone mainstream and many relatively young kids are becoming fans).

Apple needs to compete against Youtube TV. I'd love to unsubscribe and bring all my shows into the Apple TV+ ecosystem.
 

ProVideo

macrumors 6502
Jun 28, 2011
497
688
Do they get Red Zone and the other current extras or just rights to a few games? Red Zone seems to be the main selling point of the current Direct TV deal and without that this seems like the NFL version of their Friday Night Baseball. I could see the NFL keeping the rights to Red Zone for their own network(s) or apps.
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2011
7,928
12,479
NC
Why do sports leagues always partner these external companies?

The NFL is with DirecTV and now they're supposedly making a plan with Apple.

But why can't I just give money straight to the NFL and get a subscription from them? Why involve others?
 
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tothemoonsands

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2018
513
1,078
One has to ask why would Apple wait on this news? Assuming it is true. And, in my opinion, that would because they want to roll-out a TV package. When you think about it, it's ludicrous that Apple would let Google run away with Youtube TV with very little (real) competition, aside from basically Hulu and DirectTV.
 

mnsportsgeek

macrumors 601
Feb 24, 2009
4,375
6,825
Apple could've taken the outside route like they often do and helped to build something themselves.

Buying a stake in the XFL is a bet I think is worth taking. The simplified rules and faster action of the latest season, had me, someone who could never get into NFL, watching and growing into a fan. The XFL was picking up steam and getting great reviews and a buzz of NFL players rumoured to be making the switch, then it got knocked out by the pandemic shutdown forcing it out just as it was picking up momentum.

Having Apple as a technology partner would be great. It would also be a cheap acquisition.
The XFL that shows up for a year, disappears and then shows up again years later?
 

ipedro

macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
6,221
8,458
Toronto, ON
Why do sports leagues always partner these external companies?

Formerly the NFL was with DirecTV and now they're supposedly making a plan with Apple.

But why can't I just give money straight to the NFL and get a subscription from them? Why involve others?
Because third parties pay the NFL much more since they can afford to lose money on their broadcasting rights, used as a loss leader to acquire customers for their full programming lineups.
 
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