Apple is about to take a, well, something out of the NFL’s rights portfolio. The tech behemoth reportedly has emerged as the favorite to land the NFL’s Sunday Ticket package, according to Matthew Belloni of PUCK.news, via Sports Business Journal. An unnamed source told Belloni that the deal is actually done, and that it’s being kept under wraps at Apple’s request.
Few properties attract more fan curiosity than NFL Sunday Ticket. The out-of-market viewing platform, exclusive to DirecTV since it debuted in 1994, could soon be on the move. Appearing on CNBC, Brian Rolapp, NFL EVP and chief business officer, said there have been “lots of conversations” with both “traditional companies and tech companies.” He added that the deal to be done entails more than just Sunday Ticket.
Apple is interested in streaming rights for the National Football League’s Sunday Ticket package. Apple has had discussions with NFL executives, but the NFL is also speaking with TV networks and other tech firms as well.
With 13 weeks left in the season, DirecTV has lowered the price of the streaming NFL Sunday Ticket to $220.47 for the basic plan and $281.97 for the Max package. That’s a 25% decrease for the basic plan and a 29.5% drop for Max.
Bars and restaurants across America could be lining up to take a chunk out of the $12 billion deal the NFL has with DirecTV. A proposed class action filed Monday on behalf of San Francisco pub The Mucky Duck wants to free such establishments from what they see as the exorbitant prices they are paying to the league to show out-of-market games via the satellite provider’s Sunday Ticket package.
For almost two decades, DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket package of National Football League games has been a superstar performer for the satellite broadcaster. But like any team with an aging and expensive player, DirecTV now has to decide whether to keep Sunday Ticket on its roster.
Google CEO Larry Page and YouTube content boss Robert Kyncl are said to have met with a delegation from the NFL led by commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday. And the Sunday Ticket package was among the topics of discussion, according to people familiar with the meeting.
DirecTV is going to have to decide soon whether to punt or keep the football. The satellite broadcaster’s exclusive contract for rights to the National Football League’s Sunday Ticket package, which offers subscribers access to every game being played on Sunday afternoon, ends after the 2014 season. While that may seem like it is a long way off, typically the NFL likes to renegotiate its TV agreements a few years in advance of their expiration date.