Thursday, December 01, 2022

NFL Will Choose ‘Sunday Ticket’ Partner By This Fall, Says Roger Goodell

The NFL plans to award the coveted rights to its “Sunday Ticket” package to a major streaming service — with the winner to be determined by this fall, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday.

Goodell addressed the future of Sunday Ticket as he and other tycoons from the tech, media and business sectors converged at the Sun Valley Conference. The NFL commissioner noted that discussions have been ongoing for over a year.

“It’s an important decision for us because these assets are really valuable to us,” Goodell told CNBC. “I clearly believe that we will be moving to a streaming service. I think it’s better for consumers at this stage, but we have a lot of interest now.”

“I think we will probably have some decision in the fall,” he added.

Satellite TV giant DirecTV controlled the rights to the “Sunday Ticket” package for more than two decades and paid a $1.5 billion annual price for the right to broadcast the NFL’s weekly list of games. The current contract expires after the 2022 season.

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Speculation has increased in recent years that the NFL could ditch its longtime partner in favor of a booming streamer.

Streaming giants Apple and Amazon have already submitted bids for the rights to the Sunday Ticket, as has Disney, ESPN’s parent company, CNBC reported last month. The NFL is said to be seeking over $2 billion a year for the rights, with the winner also receiving a stake in NFL Media.

Roger Goodell
Roger Goodell said negotiations over NFL Sunday ticket rights have been ongoing for more than a year.
Getty Images

The NFL already has ties to Amazon, which owns the rights to broadcast its Thursday Night Football package.

Regardless of which platform the NFL selects, the $300-a-year price for consumers will likely remain largely unchanged due to contractual obligations to the league’s TV partners, according to the channel.

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Goodell touched on what a collaboration with a tech giant like Apple or Amazon, rather than traditional broadcast partners like ESPN, would mean for the future of the platform.

Nfl Sunday Ticket
DirecTV has controlled the rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket for over two decades.

“We are currently on a linear service through DirecTV and it has worked very well for us, but we really believe that these new platforms give us the ability to innovate beyond where we are today and make the experience for our consumers much better.”

The commissioner said a deal with a streamer would help the NFL in its goal of reaching younger viewers. Goodell added that the NFL plans to launch its own streaming platform, dubbed NFL+, this fall.

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