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Rumors swirl of NFL tie-up with Apple over Sunday Ticket package

(Stock image via Pexels/Graphic by The Desk)

Executives with technology company Apple reportedly met with National Football League Commissioner Roger Goddell at a summit of the minds in Idaho this month.

The meeting was disclosed in a report by Puck News that suggested it could influence where the National Football League’s (NFL) out-of-market broadcast television product Sunday Ticker could land once DirecTV’s rights to the package expire.

The rights to the package could net the NFL a cool $3 billion, according to reports. Apple has emerged as a top contender for Sunday Ticket as it looks to incorporate more programming into its $50-a-year Apple TV Plus streaming service. The service began offering some live telecasts of Major League Baseball games earlier this year and will soon offer matches from Major League Soccer.

Earlier this month, Goodell said the Sunday Ticket product would leave traditional television and be offered on a streaming service. (DirecTV offered a separate streaming service for Sunday Ticket, but it was only available to customers who could not have a satellite dish installed at their homes.)

Sunday Ticket offers live access to football games on Sunday mornings and afternoons that are aired on CBS and Fox stations outside of a viewer’s home market. According to reports, the NFL’s upcoming contract with CBS and Fox prohibits the NFL Sunday Ticket from being offered at a reduced price, which suggests any streamer that obtains the rights to the package would likely have to charge extra for it.

In addition to Apple, reports indicate Amazon and ESPN are lead contenders for Sunday Ticket, though all three of the companies and the NFL have been tight-lipped about any specific negotiations.