According to Deadline, the National Football League (NFL) has been in contact with Apple about the possibility of selling the streaming rights to the league’s Sunday Ticket package of games to the iPhone maker.
The rights currently belong to AT&T’s DirecTV, but the NFL’s contract with the satellite TV provider expires after the 2022 season. The NFL is reportedly pitching that Apple pick up the streaming rights to the league’s Sunday Ticket slate of games for its streaming service, Apple TV+.
In its current form, NFL Sunday Ticket lets viewers watch any out-of-market NFL game on DirecTV, or via streaming for viewers who can’t get DirecTV.
At this point, whether Apple even engages with NFL for the streaming rights is up in the air. Sunday NFL games certainly don’t coincide with Apple TV+’s pursuit of prestigious awards. Then again, over 60% of phone and tablet users access sports media on their devices, so there’s a chance Apple might actually be interested.
Also vying for the NFL’s Sunday Ticket slate is Disney-owned ESPN, which has been in talks with the NFL about the streaming rights since May.
There is no concrete word on how much the NFL is planning on asking for its Sunday Ticket package.
However, a source revealed that 11-year rights extension deals struck between the league and its current broadcasters back in March saw a 75% increase in sticker price as compared to the last set of similar deals from almost a decade ago, so a deal for the NFL’s Sunday Ticket could be expected to command a similar premium.
In Canada, DAZN is the premier rights-holder of NFL Game Pass here, and the service includes a free 30-day trial. Other rights holders here include Bell Media, which has broadcasting for NFL games and the Super Bowl.