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Friday, July 12, 2024

Apple May Not Be Out of Running for NFL Sunday Ticket

  • Puck reported that frontrunner Apple has chosen not to close deal for package.
  • With talks expected to run into next year, source says Apple could still be in mix.
NFL logo on field inside of SoFi Stadium
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said at the league meetings last Wednesday that negotiations for NFL Sunday Ticket were at a “very critical point.”

There were dueling reports Friday that stated both Apple had all but finalized the deal, and that was followed by news that the the tech giant had withdrawn from the protracted negotiations.

A source with knowledge of the negotiations told Front Office Sports to not count Apple out just yet as the talks are set to stretch into 2023.

The NFL is seeking to nearly double the $1.5 billion DirecTV currently pays annually for Sunday Ticket. 

DirecTV has carried the NFL’s out-of-market game package exclusively since its inception in 1994.

  • Apple has been seen as the frontrunner for weeks, especially after it inked a deal to make Apple Music the league’s new Super Bowl Halftime Show partner in September.
  • Amazon, which is in its first year as the exclusive home of “Thursday Night Football,” remains in the mix.
  • Google is also a would-be landing spot for Sunday Ticket, which would likely be sold as an add-on for its YouTube TV service.

Only Major NFL Package Left

The NFL created in-market streaming service NFL+ before the season, leaving Sunday Ticket as the final U.S. major rights package that’s not locked up.

“We’ve had a lot of interest in this,” Goodell said of Sunday Ticket. “Our decisions are not based on timelines. They’re based on getting the best outcome.”

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