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The parent companies of ESPN, Fox, and TNT Sports announced a planned joint sports streaming service last week that will offer access to most major sports leagues. Unfortunately, this deal is seemingly set to hit a roadblock when it comes to how the NFL feels about the future service.

John Ourand of Puck News detailed in a newsletter Monday that NFL executives aren’t pleased about the deal, which they reportedly detailed in a call last week with ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro.

According to Ourand, Pitaro spoke to commissioner Roger Goodell and chief business officer Brian Rolapp to alert them to the deal hours before it was officially announced. During the call, NFL executives made it clear to Pitaro that they were unhappy about “being left in the dark.”

Ourand added that NFL executives felt “blindsided” by the move, even having lawyers attempting to find out whether the media companies were within their legal rights to launch such a service without their knowledge, considering the league has media rights deals with both Fox and ESPN.

The initial belief from the NFL is that Disney, Fox Corporation, and Warner Bros. Discovery, the parent companies of ESPN, Fox, and TNT Sports, are indeed well within their rights to this streaming service agreement. However, the NFL is still looking for potential loopholes to stop the service, according to Ourand.

It’s certainly interesting to see the NFL pushing back so hard against this venture. The NFL’s decision to give Amazon Prime exclusive rights to future playoff games after giving Peacock a playoff game this year further proves that they see streaming services as the future of broadcasting.

It seems like the league could only benefit from a new streaming service from two media companies they’re already in business with. However, considering the NFL was seemingly left out of the loop on these talks, it’s understandable that they feel a bit slighted by ESPN in particular; the league has recently been contemplating taking an equity stake in the company.

[Puck News]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.