Apple might be about to put down billions to intercept NFL Sunday Ticket, which would allow it to stream out-of-market games every week of future football seasons.
The leak comes just weeks after the debut of Friday Night Baseball on Apple TV+.
Hike! Hike! Hike! NFL Sunday Ticket on Apple TV+ in 2023
DirecTV has had the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket for many years, and that will continue through the 2022 season. But there’s a bidding war for 2023, and Apple TV+ is reportedly a frontrunner.
Puck reports, “My sources say it’s Apple’s to lose, at this point. (One source told me this weekend that the deal is actually done and is being kept quiet at Apple’s request, which I haven’t confirmed and don’t know for a fact; Apple isn’t commenting.)”
NFL Sunday Ticket includes broadcasts National Football League regular season games. But this is out-of-market games only — games in which someone other than the local team is playing.
DirecTV has been paying $1.5 billion a year for the sports package, but the price is allegedly going up. The rights to the 2023 season could be as much as $2.5 billion.
Apple wants to stream sports
While there’s no confirmation of a deal between Apple and the NFL, there’s no doubt the Mac-maker wants to put sports on its streaming service.
Apple hired former Amazon exec Jim DeLorenzo in 2020 to head up sports for its streaming video service. Of course, at that time Apple TV+ didn’t have any sports, so DeLorenzo’s job was to get some. Previously, he served as head of sports at Amazon Video.
So far, he’s secured Friday Night Baseball, and could be close to bringing NFL Sunday Ticket to Apple.