As we approach the end of the year, the next home of NFL Sunday Ticket has yet to be determined. This is a bit surprising, given how long the negotiations have been going on (this summer, Roger Goodell said that the new home of Sunday Ticket would be announced in the fall, which is rapidly coming to a close) and how many different media companies have been interested.
One of those media companies interested is ESPN, which had “exploratory conversations” with the NFL about Sunday Ticket nearly two years ago and was still “in conversations” with the league months later. Earlier this year, ESPN and parent company Disney were one of several entities to submit bids for Sunday Ticket, though that’s about where the trail of breadcrumbs ended.
Last week, the topic of Sunday Ticket came up at the SBJ Media Innovators conference, and ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said that the company is “not currently engaged” with the NFL regarding Sunday Ticket.
“We’ve made it clear to the NFL that we value that product,” Pitaro said. “We are not currently engaged with them. The ball is in their court, and they have to decide what their priorities are and where they want to go with it.”
Reading into his quote a bit more, it does seem like Disney has made an offer, though they’re not further negotiating with the NFL. That might be good news for Apple, long-linked to Sunday Ticket and a significant investment in the NFL’s media operations.
Here’s hoping we get a resolution on the matter sooner rather than later. The future of Sunday Ticket has been murky for far too long.