The NFL is currently in discussions with The Walt Disney Company regarding the purchasing of rights to NFL Sunday Ticket. DirecTV currently holds the rights to the out-of-market television package through the 2022 season.
On CNBC’s Fast Money, Disney CEO Bob Chapek stated the company is in negotiations to purchase Sunday Ticket. Chapek also said that Sunday Ticket “would make a particularly good addendum to our ESPN+ service.”
Adding Sunday Ticket to ESPN+ would continue a trend that has seen many pro sports leagues marrying their content with digital streaming services. This would make the Disney-NFL partnership make sense as ESPN (owned by Disney) broadcasts Monday Night Football.
Amazon is also considered a major player in the purchase of the Sunday Ticket rights. The online retail giant is no stranger to the NFL. Amazon will pay $1 billion per year over 10 years for the Thursday Night Football rights beginning in 2022.
But rumor has it the NFL prefers an Apple partnership when it comes to Sunday Ticket. Apple purchasing the rights would truly diversify the NFL’s media interests. The league would then have relationships with an online retailer (Amazon), a content behemoth (ESPN), and a tech giant.
AT&T, which owns DirecTV, has struggled financially in recent years and is most likely not even going to bid for the renewal of the Sunday Ticket rights. AT&T currently pays $1.5 billion per year and the NFL will be searching for a rights package at a minimum level of $2 billion per year.
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