Apple’s year-long effort to broadcast pro football games on Sunday nights has come to an end. The Mac-maker was reportedly in negotiations for the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket, but was outbid by Google’s YouTube TV instead.
Apple TV+ will continue to boast high-profile sports, but its roster won’t include NFL games.
No NFL Sunday Ticket for Apple TV+
In recent years, Cupertino has been building the sports offerings on its streaming video service. Apple TV+ already offers Friday Night Baseball. And it will be the exclusive streaming source for all Major League Soccer games for 10 years, starting with the 2023 season.
Not content with those sports, rumors throughout 2022 pointed to negotiations between Major League Football and Apple for rights to games on Sundays. Then a recent report indicated Apple had left the playing field.
On Thursday, the National Football League announced a multiyear deal with Google that wins YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels the right to exclusively distribute NFL Sunday Ticket in the United States starting with the 2023 season.
It might be a loss for Apple TV+. But users of Apple devices can catch broadcasts of National Football League regular season games via YouTube’s paid services. This is for out-of-market games only — games in which someone other than the local team is playing.
How much Google paid remains unknown. But it was more than Apple was willing to cough up. The league allegedly wanted $2.5 billion for each season.
Amazon was reportedly also outbid for the NFL Sunday Ticket.