The NFL is finding a new home for its Sunday Ticket package, and the bidding is down to two of the world’s largest tech companies and one of the world’s largest media conglomerates.
Amazon, Apple, and Disney are all vying for the out-of-market set, which the NFL reportedly wants to shift at least partly to a streaming property.
- The league is seeking $2.5 billion to $3 billion annually for the Sunday Ticket.
- Disney-owned ESPN is reportedly willing to pay $1 billion to $1.5 billion. The network is already on the hook for an annual $2.7 billion to continue its broadcast of “Monday Night Football.”
- Amazon is paying around $1 billion per year for exclusive rights to “Thursday Night Football.”
The league is looking to package Sunday Ticket with a stake in NFL Media, which includes the NFL Network, NFL RedZone, and NFL.com.
The league has a fourth option: put the package on its own streaming service, NFL+, which it plans to launch later this year.
DirecTV has held the rights to the service since its launch in 1994 and is on the hook for $1.5 billion for the upcoming season. The broadcaster, which requires buyers of the $300 Sunday Ticket package to also purchase its core satellite bundle, has lost roughly $500 million on it each year for several years.
Contractual agreements with Fox and CBS prevent the eventual owner of Sunday Ticket from reducing the price too much below the current $300 annual cost.