Who Is Fighting Over the NFL’s Sunday Ticket?

Do You Want It Streaming? Should It Be?

NFL Shield Logo

The NFL is looking for a new home for their Sunday Ticket package. If you are like me, you became familiar with this by subscribing to DirecTV and received the NFL Sunday Ticket for free. Then you proceeded every year before the season to call them and yell about the price hikes for your TV package, so they would give you the NFL Sunday Ticket package for free. However, sooner or later I realized that DirecTV was just too much and left their service to find cheaper alternatives like YouTube TV. 

However, you can’t get an NFL Sunday Ticket with a lot of the cord-cutting options. So, I was pretty excited to see talks of this package being up for bid to streaming services in the June 27th article by Front Office Sports. It talked about how the bidding is basically down to two major companies and one media conglomerate. Amazon, Apple, and Disney are all vying for the out-of-market games that the NFL supposedly wants to shift over to a streaming service at least partly. I think this package includes around 10–12 football games every Sunday.

According to the Front Office Sports article, “The NFL is wanting bidders to spend $2.5 billion to $3 billion annually for the Sunday Ticket. Disney-owned ESPN is reportedly willing to pay $1 billion to $1.5 billion. They are already paying the NFL an annual $2.7 billion to continue its broadcast of ‘Monday Night Football.’ Amazon is paying around $1 billion per year for exclusive rights to ‘Thursday Night Football.’”

The league is looking to package Sunday Ticket with a stake in NFL Media which includes the NFL Network, NFL RedZone and NFL.com. Now the NFL has a fourth option in this bidding war. It is to put the package on its own streaming service, NFL+ which it has plans to launch later this year. 

DirecTV has held the rights to the service since its launch in 2014 and is on the hook for $1.5 billion for the upcoming season. The satellite company requires buyers of the $300 Sunday Ticket package to also purchase its core bundle and has lost roughly $500 million on it each year for several years. 

Don’t get any ideas of the package lowering for doing some cord cutting. It’s not. Contractual agreements with Fox and CBS prevent the eventual owner of Sunday Ticket from reducing the price too much below the current $300 annual cost.

What do I think? My first thought was anyone, but Apple because I don’t have Apple TV. However, I have thought about getting it, but then I have too many streaming services right now that I don’t get to watch enough. Do I want another and do I want to pay $300 to watch the NFL Sunday Ticket? No, probably not. Personally, I hope that the NFL just keeps it. I’m probably going to be paying for NFL.com, so why not watch it there? Let me know what you think. Where do you want it to be and why?

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