Apple in talks to acquire NFC Sunday Ticket streaming rights. NFL Sunday Ticket is an out-of-market sports package that broadcasts and streams National Football League (NFL) regular season games unavailable on local affiliates. It carries all regional Sunday afternoon games produced by Fox and CBS.
The package is currently distributed in America exclusively by AT&T Inc. under its DirecTV unit.
Apple has expressed interest in the streaming rights for a package of National Football League games the NFL is now auctioning, said people familiar with the situation, a possible sign the tech giant is looking to beef up the audience for its Apple TV+ streaming service.
The iPhone maker is one of a number of companies, including TV networks and other tech firms, that have had discussions with NFL executives lately about the package of games, including at this week’s Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley for tech and media executives. The rights cover a package known as Sunday Ticket, which now airs on DirecTV. They are separate from a slew of licensing deals recently completed between the NFL, most major broadcast TV networks and Amazon. ESPN’s parent Disney is among those likely to be interested in Sunday Ticket.
DirecTV pays somewhere around $1.5 billion to broadcast the Sunday Ticket games, but its deal with the NFL expires in 2022, paving the way for other networks to bid on the package.
ESPN parent company Disney is said to be interested in acquiring the rights for the ESPN streaming service, and according to The Information, Apple is not seen as a serious contender for the rights because it has been reluctant to invest money in entertainment programming.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple, which already has more money than they know what to do with should shell out for some live sports on Apple TV+! It’d be a genius idea, if we don’t say so ourselves:
Perhaps Cook should consider bidding for and winning NFL Sunday Ticket away from Direct TV, buying rights to Premiere League and La Liga games, etc. and making them Apple TV exclusives. Go directly to the sports leagues with boatloads of cash. — MacDailyNews, May 6, 2014