Three suitors are competing to name the new NFL live outlet. The package comes at a high price.
Over the last few seasons, football fans were somewhat confused if they wanted to watch out-of-market matches. Direct-TV subscriptions are required. This would allow you to spend upwards $300 to purchase the entire NFL schedule.
You are also out of luck if you have bad weather, because storms can disrupt satellite signals.
Well, this is the final season that Direct-TV has the contract for the Sunday Ticket, and league commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL have been in year-long bidding negotiations for the rights to be retained for next year’s games – and it will prove to be a large payday for the league. Reportedly, there are three suitors for the league rights, and they are all streamers – Amazon, Apple, and Disney.
It is notable that each of these streamers are well-established, which is why the contract will be so lucrative. There is speculation that the contract may be much larger than $2 billion. When you take into account the different interests of each entity, bidding might create an environment in which the ceiling will not be visible.
Goodell announced that the announcement regarding which platform will become the new provider of the NFL will come in the following months. Each of the three contestants have large cash reserves. They also have specific reasons to spend on NFL-related platforms.
Disney has ESPN. The company is unsure how to deal with it. Bob Iger left, and Bob Chapek, the new CEO, was reported to have been considering spinning-off ESPN, because ratings and subscriptions were declining. Then, however Dylan Beyers was reporting from the Sun Valley ConferenceThis is how the plan was abandoned. The rights could be resold to Disney, which would help revitalize ESPN +. It also serve as a benefit for the main network that broadcasts Monday Night Football.
Amazon also has an inroad, as for the past few seasons its Prime platform has been showing select Thursday Night Football games; this season, it becomes the full-time provider for Thursday games, taking over that night’s rights from the NFL Network, which saw poor ratings due to low subscriber support. This year‘s deal arrives a year earlierAmazon has now established a relationship with the league by signing a 10-year agreement.
As for Apple, there could be significant motivation – and money. Apple+ has not seen great results since it launched its streaming service. The subscription figures have been mediocre despite the critical success. Apple+ titles are rarely in the top 10 of streaming ratings. The top-rated shows on TV are still all NFL games. In 2021 the most popular programs were Sunday, Monday and Thursday night games. Apple can spend big to attract those viewers to its faltering platform.
This is where the only problem would lie. It all depends on which bidder wins. Although there are no high-cost, mandatory dual subscriptions like Direct-TV has, the network agreements with Fox and CBS require that Sunday Tickets not be below a specific price in order to maintain the premium.
As streaming is an option to increase audience availability, this deal represents a big shift in the league. It is possible to remove barriers such as satellite subscriptions or proper dish coverage. This will increase the viewership and lead to higher ratings. We will be watching closely to see what the fans think of this new deal at home.