Apple May Have Already Inked Deal for NFL Sunday Ticket

Apple May Have Already Inked Deal for NFL Sunday Ticket

Back in July, rumors suggested that Apple was pursuing streaming rights for the National Football League’s “Sunday Ticket” package, and as of this week, there is a report suggesting that the deal could already be done.


NFL Sunday Ticket has been described as “Apple’s to lose” by Matthew Belloni of Puck News in a report that’s been making the rounds today. In fact, he says that the deal is “actually done” according to one of his sources, and is being kept quiet at the behest of Apple.

My sources say it’s Apple’s to lose, at this point. (One source told me this weekend that the deal is actually done and is being kept quiet at Apple’s request, which I haven’t confirmed and don’t know for a fact; Apple isn’t commenting.) That would make sense: Even after winning top Emmys and the best picture Oscar, C.E.O. Tim Cook has said Apple is merely in its early days of premium video, and nothing is more premium than NFL football. Plus, it would explain Apple’s recent foray into live events and advertising with MLB games.

Given that the information comes from unspecified sources and has yet to be confirmed, it should be viewed with some skepticism at this point. Apple was in talks with NFL executives last year, but there was competition from other TV networks and tech firms like Amazon.

Sunday Ticket airs on DirecTV, but rights are up for auction as the NFL’s DirecTV deal is expiring after the 2022 season. DirecTV paid around $1.5 billion for the games, but whoever wins the rights for the 2023 season will likely pay around $2.5 billion.

Should Apple win the bid for Sunday Ticket, out-of-market fans will be able to watch non-prime time games from all 32 NFL teams on Apple TV+. Sunday Ticket would join Friday Night Baseball, which Apple airs each Friday as part of a deal with Major League Baseball.

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