NFL looks for new Sunday Ticket deal, Apple may be in early talks

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited July 9
DirecTV's Sunday Ticket deal is due to expire after 2022, and the NFL is reportedly looking for a streaming partner -- potentially including Apple TV+.




Apple has long been rumored to want to add live sports to Apple TV+, but now an opportunity may be arising to get it the NFL's Sunday Ticket games. All that is certain is that the broadcast rights to those games expire at the end of the 2022 season, but some sources are claiming Apple is in early talks.

The Information, which reports the claim, also says that Apple is not really considered a serious contender, It cites Apple's reported reluctance to invest heavily in entertainment programming, such as sporting or series known as "shiny floor shows," such as as "Dancing with the Stars."

Nonetheless, The Information says that there are indications Apple is looking closer at live sports, and posits that NFL Sunday Ticket would be a boon for the service.

Reportedly, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is focused on getting a new television contract for the games. They've been a loss leader for DirecTV, and unspecified sources said that Goodell is keen to moving to streaming.

Neither Apple nor the NFL have commented.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,441member
    This made more sense when Apple was trying to bring networks together for a TV package.
  • Reply 2 of 22
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,394member
    It cites Apple's reported reluctance to invest heavily in entertainment programming

    Say what now? 

    https://www.cultofmac.com/738633/apple-tv-is-almost-certainly-a-money-loser-right-now/

    I guess everything is relative, but if spending single digit billions on original content isn't "investing heavily" then what is? 

    I mean yeah, to get the NFL, Apple would probably need to spend approximately as much as they spend on everything else on ATV+, but I don't think it's totally crazy. Having the NFL is kind of like having several guaranteed hit TV shows every year. The NFL is also *the* thing that keeps some people from cutting the cord. 


    Beats
  • Reply 3 of 22
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,406member
    DirecTV's Sunday Ticket deal is due to expire after 2022, and the NLF is reportedly looking for a streaming partner -- potentially including Apple TV+
    The national liberation front wants to stream with Apple?
  • Reply 4 of 22
    rs0212rs0212 Posts: 22member
    This will never happen. DirecTV will attempt renew their contract at all costs - otherwise they will lose millions of business customers (such as sportsbars). I can see both a DirecTV and an OTT streaming service deal, but I don't see an either or.
    edited July 9
  • Reply 5 of 22
    tommikeletommikele Posts: 482member
    DirecTV's Sunday Ticket deal is due to expire after 2022, and the NLF is reportedly looking for a streaming partner -- potentially including Apple TV+
    The national liberation front wants to stream with Apple?
    Not worthy of even a sarcastic response. Somethings are just ignorant no matter how witty or creative their out of touch author thinks they are.
  • Reply 6 of 22
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,587member
    rs0212 said:
    I can see both a DirecTV and an OTT streaming service deal, but I don't see an either or.
    This is the most likely scenario. If Apple can add NFL Sunday Ticket to Apple TV+, it wouldn't be an exclusive, it would likely be one of several ways to get NFL Sunday Ticket.

    The younger generation is watching a lot of this on their phones or smart TVs, not through legacy television technologies like OTA terrestrial broadcast or satellite TV. Major sports leagues need to go where the audience is. And I write that as an old fogey. It's not a "cable versus satellite" discussion anymore.

    My guess is that the NFL is shopping this around to many of the streaming content players: Amazon, Google, Apple, Roku, Netflix, etc.

    We've seen other professional sports leagues dabble with online streaming broadcasts of individual games in some regions. I know the hometown baseball team has broadcasted some games on Facebook, YouTube, and Peacock. The under-30 demographic is not going to sign up for cable/satellite TV to watch one league anymore.
  • Reply 7 of 22
    danoxdanox Posts: 561member
    A sucker and it’s money soon parted, soon Apple will have full lock down on all programs, in addition to audio, and video formats on the Mac. Content creation by Apple isn’t good for a open computer system…
    edited July 9
  • Reply 8 of 22
    blastdoor said:
    It cites Apple's reported reluctance to invest heavily in entertainment programming

    Say what now? 

    https://www.cultofmac.com/738633/apple-tv-is-almost-certainly-a-money-loser-right-now/

    I guess everything is relative, but if spending single digit billions on original content isn't "investing heavily" then what is? 

    I mean yeah, to get the NFL, Apple would probably need to spend approximately as much as they spend on everything else on ATV+, but I don't think it's totally crazy. Having the NFL is kind of like having several guaranteed hit TV shows every year. The NFL is also *the* thing that keeps some people from cutting the cord. 


    Apple spend is comparatively small compared to the likes of Netflix.  2018 $12 billion. 2019 $15 billion. 2020 $$12 billion. 2021 est. $17 billion.  Amazon's not far behind Netflix.  Apple's spend is quite conservative.  Imo, it's doubtful Apple would spend the the amounts necessary to garner the Sunday Ticket contract.  Apple's largest acquisition acquisitions were Beats at $3B and Intel at $1B... and that's ownership.  Sunday Ticket wouldn't be ownership.  It would be timed licensing.  The cost of Sunday Ticket could potentially be more than Apple has spent on all of it's ATV+ content combined.  Direct TV paid $1.5B.  The NFL is looking for more, not less.

    Sunday Ticket is a $300 season pass for end users.  Apple certainly isn't going to subsidize that and make Sunday Ticket a part of ATV+.  
    rs0212 said:
    This will never happen. DirecTV will attempt renew their contract at all costs - otherwise they will lose millions of business customers (such as sportsbars). I can see both a DirecTV and an OTT streaming service deal, but I don't see an either or.
    Direct TV will not attempt to renew the contract.  Direct TV is basically dead man walking.  AT&T wants that service gone in the worst way.  They tried to sell it but had no takers.  Direct TV has been bleeding customers and money for a while.  The Sunday Ticket was a loss leader on Direct TV that didn't help gain the subs they hoped.  DTV is an anchor around AT&T's neck.  
    edited July 9 tenthousandthings
  • Reply 9 of 22
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,587member
    CloudTalkin said:
    Direct TV is basically dead man walking.  AT&T wants that service gone in the worst way.  They tried to sell it but had no takers.  Direct TV has been bleeding customers and money for a while.  The Sunday Ticket was a loss leader on Direct TV that didn't help gain the subs they hoped.  DTV is an anchor around AT&T's neck.  
    This is a pretty fair assessment of DirecTV's situation. In the future, fewer people will sign up for DirecTV service, not more. The subs will decrease, not increase. A streaming service by contrast can expand the global audience because it's not dependent on specific infrastructure.

    DirecTV like broadband Internet (DSL, cable TV, cellular data) is just another dumb pipe.

    And satellite TV services are hampered with massive infrastructure costs. Want to jump from NTSC resolution to FHD? Launch a bunch of satellites and tell your subscribers that they need expensive new hardware (including new dishes). Same with the jump to 4K UHD. Will be the same with 8K transmissions. 

    But as I mentioned before, the younger audience is watching this on their phones. 
  • Reply 10 of 22
    Just like the MLB has their streaming service, the NFL should just make it’s own. That way they don’t have to partner with anyone, they can lower the cost of the package to reach more people, and since there is no middleman provider, they can keep their profits within the same margin. 

    The achilles heal of MLB, are the nonsensical blackouts. If I pay for a service for the season, I want to be able to see EVERY GAME. With less people subscribing to a Cable provider, watching local teams has become more difficult. In my case in NY both Yankee and Mets games are always blacked out, so I can’t watch them even though I am subscribed to the MLB package. 

    If NFL made their own service and made it, where they can watch any game they wanted, people would be all over it.
    JBSlough
  • Reply 11 of 22
    thedbathedba Posts: 651member

    The achilles heal of MLB, are the nonsensical blackouts. If I pay for a service for the season, I want to be able to see EVERY GAME. With less people subscribing to a Cable provider, watching local teams has become more difficult. In my case in NY both Yankee and Mets games are always blacked out, so I can’t watch them even though I am subscribed to the MLB package. 

    Have you tried using a VPN? I don’t about MLB app, but DAZN works just fine for me.
    Even in the US, with DAZN I just sign into Express VPN Canadian server and catch all the Premier League or Champions League games I want. NFL games (all of them) are also on Canada’s DAZN stream.
    the1maximus
  • Reply 12 of 22
    thedba said:

    Have you tried using a VPN? I don’t about MLB app, but DAZN works just fine for me.
    Even in the US, with DAZN I just sign into Express VPN Canadian server and catch all the Premier League or Champions League games I want. NFL games (all of them) are also on Canada’s DAZN stream.
    I do have a VPN service and that is how I watch a couple of games while out. I don’t have a full house VPN so I can’t get it on my TV. For normal Joe Blows though, or for people that don’t know they can do that, it’s not a viable option. 
  • Reply 13 of 22
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,586member
    If Apple was serious, they would spend the $2 billion needed and include the NFL Sunday ticket free to Apple TV+ subscribers.  With their marketing, this would be a game changer for the service.  It all depends whether they want to break through or not.  
  • Reply 14 of 22
    sdw2001 said:
    If Apple was serious, they would spend the $2 billion needed and include the NFL Sunday ticket free to Apple TV+ subscribers.  With their marketing, this would be a game changer for the service.  It all depends whether they want to break through or not.  
    Serious or seriously crazy?  Spend $2B on Sunday Ticket and put it on ATV+ for free? There's using loss leaders to hopefully gain market share (like Direct TV unsuccessfully did) and then there's unfathomable loss leaders.  Your idea falls squarely into the latter.  Sunday Ticket is a $300 to $400 consumer facing package.  Apple isn't putting a package like that on a tiny $5 a month streaming service... and then absorbing all that cost.  It makes no business nor common sense.  
    danox
  • Reply 15 of 22
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,587member
    There is zero chance that Apple would pay $2 billion for streaming rights for a professional league that has scant appeal outside of the USA.

    Lamentably, even in 2021 some people here are still too narrow minded to realize that Apple's market extends beyond US borders.

    Streaming the World Cup tournament or the Summer Olympics Games would be something more in line with Apple's efforts to offer to its international audience. I realize that some people here can't see the forest for the trees.
  • Reply 16 of 22
    danoxdanox Posts: 561member
    blastdoor said:
    It cites Apple's reported reluctance to invest heavily in entertainment programming

    Say what now? 

    https://www.cultofmac.com/738633/apple-tv-is-almost-certainly-a-money-loser-right-now/

    I guess everything is relative, but if spending single digit billions on original content isn't "investing heavily" then what is? 

    I mean yeah, to get the NFL, Apple would probably need to spend approximately as much as they spend on everything else on ATV+, but I don't think it's totally crazy. Having the NFL is kind of like having several guaranteed hit TV shows every year. The NFL is also *the* thing that keeps some people from cutting the cord. 


    Apple spend is comparatively small compared to the likes of Netflix.  2018 $12 billion. 2019 $15 billion. 2020 $$12 billion. 2021 est. $17 billion.  Amazon's not far behind Netflix.  Apple's spend is quite conservative.  Imo, it's doubtful Apple would spend the the amounts necessary to garner the Sunday Ticket contract.  Apple's largest acquisition acquisitions were Beats at $3B and Intel at $1B... and that's ownership.  Sunday Ticket wouldn't be ownership.  It would be timed licensing.  The cost of Sunday Ticket could potentially be more than Apple has spent on all of it's ATV+ content combined.  Direct TV paid $1.5B.  The NFL is looking for more, not less.

    Sunday Ticket is a $300 season pass for end users.  Apple certainly isn't going to subsidize that and make Sunday Ticket a part of ATV+.  
    rs0212 said:
    This will never happen. DirecTV will attempt renew their contract at all costs - otherwise they will lose millions of business customers (such as sportsbars). I can see both a DirecTV and an OTT streaming service deal, but I don't see an either or.
    Direct TV will not attempt to renew the contract.  Direct TV is basically dead man walking.  AT&T wants that service gone in the worst way.  They tried to sell it but had no takers.  Direct TV has been bleeding customers and money for a while.  The Sunday Ticket was a loss leader on Direct TV that didn't help gain the subs they hoped.  DTV is an anchor around AT&T's neck.  

    Which is why the NFL is looking for a new big sucker in town with deep pockets the content of the NFL is not worth any price it is a bottomless pit, just make the Apple hardware and software better the iPad and Mac selling more in last three years is due to better hardware/software not TV movie content, focus Apple on the things that really matter.

    Apple’s gaming ecosystem building hardware/software and dev tools have been woeful (GPU and Memory size), and I don’t mean buying out existing gaming companies which Apple doesn’t need to do, I’m talking about the back of house foundational stuff building the hardware and software tools to allow for great games to be made. With the M series CPU’s the excuses are gone but does Apple have the will the next batch of CPU’s will tell all.
    edited July 10
  • Reply 17 of 22
    JBSloughJBSlough Posts: 77member
    Just like the MLB has their streaming service, the NFL should just make it’s own. That way they don’t have to partner with anyone, they can lower the cost of the package to reach more people, and since there is no middleman provider, they can keep their profits within the same margin. 

    The achilles heal of MLB, are the nonsensical blackouts. If I pay for a service for the season, I want to be able to see EVERY GAME. With less people subscribing to a Cable provider, watching local teams has become more difficult. In my case in NY both Yankee and Mets games are always blacked out, so I can’t watch them even though I am subscribed to the MLB package. 

    If NFL made their own service and made it, where they can watch any game they wanted, people would be all over it.
    I wonder why they don’t have their own app. MLB and NHL do. Makes total sense. 100% control. 
  • Reply 18 of 22
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,587member
    What are you talking about? The NFL has provided their own app for years.

    Having your own app doesn't change previously signed contractual obligations re: streaming.

    Writing your own mobile app code doesn't suspend legal agreements.
    edited July 10
  • Reply 19 of 22
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 838member
    The NFL is a heavily diluted brand and the price keeps going up for a more and more diluted product.

    To be honest, I am tired of subsidizing the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, etc. I do not watch Pro sports and a big chunk of your TV bill is subsidizing them - like it or not.

    I watch a few College FB and BB games in a year but otherwise have little to no use for sports TV.

    I would gladly do PPV for the games I want to watch but this is nothing many of us care about.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    Just like the MLB has their streaming service, the NFL should just make it’s own. That way they don’t have to partner with anyone, they can lower the cost of the package to reach more people, and since there is no middleman provider, they can keep their profits within the same margin. 

    The achilles heal of MLB, are the nonsensical blackouts. If I pay for a service for the season, I want to be able to see EVERY GAME. With less people subscribing to a Cable provider, watching local teams has become more difficult. In my case in NY both Yankee and Mets games are always blacked out, so I can’t watch them even though I am subscribed to the MLB package. 

    If NFL made their own service and made it, where they can watch any game they wanted, people would be all over it.
    The NFL doesn't really need it's own dedicated streaming service. It's "money printing" enterprise of broadcast licensing is it's bread and butter content.  Only a drunken fool would forego the guaranteed billions of licensing broadcast rights in favor of a streaming first strategy.  No one would do it.  No one does it either.  The MLB and the NHL both still favor their broadcast partner contracts.  They all favor them for the same reason: guaranteed money.  Streaming revenue is subject to the volatility of the whims of the general public.  The sport could be hot one year and drive subs.  The next year, subs could be affected by outside forces.  Broadcast contracts deliver guaranteed money regardless of the quality of the product.  Direct TV lost on the Sunday Ticket deal in every imaginable way.  NFL still got paid.  

    For the foreseeable future streaming is going to be supplemental income for the major sports worldwide.  Being the most profitable sports league in the world the NFL knows what generates money.  Broadcast rights.  Everything on this page is guaranteed money.  https://www.nfl.com/ways-to-watch/
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