It looks like football fans might have a new place to go to enjoy games broadcast through NFL Sunday Ticket: Apple TV Plus. The streaming platform is rumored to be the frontrunner in the pick for Sunday Ticket’s next home assuming it leaves DirecTV after the 2022-2023 season, as is expected. Today, a new report from Puck News seems to confirm that Apple TV Plus will take over as its host, with the announcement being kept quiet at Apple’s request.
Puck editor Matthew Belloni said in his report that the deal is “Apple’s to lose, at this point,” noting that one source has informed him the deal is “actually done” and is just being kept on the low. This would corroborate a report from The Athletic back in September which suggested the NFL was eyeing Apple to host NFL Sunday Ticket moving forward.
NFL Sunday Ticket allows subscribers to stream football games that would otherwise be out-of-market for them. With airing rights seemingly all over the place for each NFL team, it’s a compelling service for the most loyal of football fans.
It remains unclear how NFL Sunday Ticket would make the transition to Apple TV Plus, whether it be bundled for the same monthly price or serve as an optional add-on. Right now, DirecTV subscribers have to pay up to $400 per season to watch out-of-market games, so a similar arrangement could have to be made for Apple users. However, any streaming deal the NFL cuts with Apple is rumored to be worth far more than the $1.5 billion DirecTV pays to host Sunday Ticket, so Apple might be able to offset the costs for its subscribers.
If Apple does secure Sunday Ticket, it would add to the company’s lineup of live entertainment it offers. Just this month, Apple’s Friday Night Baseball launched which provides access to exclusive games every Friday night during baseball season. For comparison’s sake, Apple reportedly pays the MLB about $85 million per year for the rights.
Since it’s rumored Sunday Ticket could move to Apple TV Plus for the 2023-2024 season, it’s not a bad idea to expect some sort of announcement or further confirmation through leaks in the near future. Stay tuned.