NFL Sunday Ticket

After years of speculation, the NFL is finally narrowing down the possible options for their Sunday Ticket out-of-market package.

Speaking today, commissioner Roger Goodell noted in a CNBC interview with Julia Boorstin that while there’s been no final decision made, it will definitely be moving to a streaming service after decades as a DirecTV-exclusive product.

The National Football League plans to select a streaming service as its new Sunday Ticket partner and will choose a winner by the fall, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday.

“I clearly believe we’ll be moving to a streaming service,” Goodell told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin in an exclusive interview at the Allen & Co. Sun Valley conference. “I think that’s best for consumers at this stage.”

The bidders have been reported to be the usual suspects here: Amazon, Apple, and Disney. Amazon and Disney are already in business with the NFL via Thursday Night Football and Monday Night Football, respectively, but it’s possible the NFL will want to add a partnership with Apple as well.

That’s been rumored for a while, with Apple reportedly interested in a variety of available NFL properties as they expand their sports footprint. It’s also worth noting that there’s already been one report suggesting Apple has indeed already locked up the bid.

Given the fact that working with as many providers as possible has proven the trend (MLB and the PGA Tour are among leagues that have followed the NFL’s pattern of flattening their distribution among multiple linear and digital outlets), Apple would seemingly have a leg up here. (Also: they have more money than anyone else.)

No matter who wins this bidding, it won’t just be directly available to customers already subscribing to ESPN+, Amazon Prime, or Apple TV+. It will still be an extra surcharge. But aside from cost, this move will make it even more widely available to consumers, removing the now quickly outdated requirement of a DirecTV dish and subscription in order to access what could be product with mass appeal.

“We really believe these new platforms give us an ability to innovate where we are today,” said Goodell. “It obviously makes it more available to our consumers, particularly the younger demographic, which is one that we really want to get to. I think this will make it more accessible for fans. I think it will be a better experience for fans.”

That’s why the NFL is going this direction, too; getting their product to the widest audience possible is always the goal. As to where it will actually land, we’re thankfully now just months away from finally having an answer.

[CNBC]

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.