Media

Sources: NFL sees Apple as most ideal candidate to take over Sunday Ticket

The NFL "wants -- or perhaps, better termed, hopes -- Apple gets" the Sunday Ticket package, according to sources cited by Daniel Kaplan of THE ATHLETIC. Sources said that under consideration is "adding choices like allowing fans to buy just one team's out-of-market games, or perhaps even stand-alone games." All indications are DirecTV's parent AT&T "has no interest in renewing, especially at" the $2B-plus per year fee the NFL is "reportedly seeking." The league already has a "deep partnership with Amazon, which provides stats through Amazon Web Services," and will pay $1B annually "starting next year for exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football after carrying the midweek games nonexclusively" since '17. ESPN "surely could juice its streaming service, ESPN+, with Sunday Ticket." However, unlike Amazon, which is a retailer, and ESPN, a content company, the NFL with Apple "would for the first time be doing business on a large scale with the preeminent technology giant." It would "marry the NFL with the company that sells arguably the globe’s most critical consumer product, the iPhone." There also are reports the Sunday Ticket deal "could be paired with an equity position in NFL Media, so aligning with a company like Apple could be viewed favorably by the NFL" (THEATHLETIC.com, 9/23).

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