Apple league's preferred NFL Sunday Ticket partner, says report

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Nfl Cardinals (Image credit: AP)

What you need to know

  • Apple is back in the running for an NFL package on its platforms.
  • A new report says the company would be the NFL's preferred Sunday Ticket partner in the future.

A new report says that Apple would be the NFL's preferred future partner for its Sunday Ticket package, which is up for renewal next year.

As reported by The Athletic:

The NFL's much-discussed Sunday Ticket package is in the news of late, with one report having Amazon as the lead contender to acquire the out-of-market games that are up for bid, while another touts Disney's ESPN empire as interested.All fair, but it's still early in the process, and sources say the NFL wants — or perhaps, better termed, hopes — Apple gets the out-of-market package

The report claims a future deal would look "a lot different structurally" to the current DirecTV offering, and that the NFL is considering letting fans buy out-of-market games for just one team or even stand-alone games in a pay as you go model.

One source reportedly told the outlet that "everything is on the table", but postulates that the league would prefer Apple because of its massive scale:

However, unlike Amazon, which is a retailer, and ESPN, a content company, the NFL with Apple would for the first time be doing business on a large scale with the preeminent technology giant. It would marry the NFL with the company that sells arguably the globe's most critical consumer product, the iPhone.

TV consultant and Former Fox Sports executive Patrick Crakes told The Athletic that the NFL would view Apple as a "great diversification" tool for its portfolio of games.

One source "close to the league" reportedly said there was a "ton of interest in this product from a lot of companies" including Apple, but that nothing was imminent.

Apple's name has been dropped multiple times, however, when the NFL announced its new $100 billion deal for TV rights through 20333 earlier this year, Apple was nowhere to be seen. Analysts at the time, however, said we shouldn't count out Apple as a Sunday Ticket distributor in the future. The current Sunday Ticket contract is up in 2022.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9