Apple TV+ gets an NFL Sunday Ticket boost following streaming admission

NFL Sunday Ticket
NFL Sunday Ticket (Image credit: NFL/DirecTV)

What you need to know

  • Apple TV+ could yet be the new home of NFL Sunday Ticket.
  • Apple TV+ is among the runners to take Sunday's live games from DirecTV.
  • NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the sport will be moving to a streaming service.

Following reports that Apple TV+ has submitted a bid to pick up NFL Sunday Ticket rights last month, the streamer has received a boost following an admission by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Goodell has reportedly confirmed that Sunday Ticket will be available via a streaming service next time out, following a 30-year stint on DirecTV. Apple TV+ reportedly submitted a bid last month, with the NFL thought to want more than $2 billion in exchange for content rights. At the time, many were confused as to why a deal hadn't already been struck.

Many observers, including some of the bidders themselves, have expressed surprise a deal hasn't gotten done by now. The delay has to do with the mix of assets and associated partnership conversations wrapped up in the deal talks, two of the people said. If the discussions centered on Sunday Ticket only, an agreement probably would have already been reached, one of the people said.

Now, Deadline reports that Goodell says the deal terms "will be finalized by the fall" with Apple TV+ and Amazon likely two of the biggest players involved.

"I clearly believe we will be moving to a streaming service," the commissioner told CNBC. He was speaking from Sun Valley, ID, where he is attending the Allen & Co. conference along with an array of media and tech execs, many of whom are NFL rightsholders.

Sunday Ticket will give subscribers of the winner streamer access to each game played on a Sunday. Regardless of their location, all of the 2022 season's Sunday games will be streamed — although it remains to be seen what the state of play will be for international audiences. Apple does currently stream baseball games around the world, however.

While the commissioner had previously suggested that the NFL was leaning towards streaming, it was thought at the time that some sort of deal would be struck that would also include DirecTV. That doesn't seem to have been completely ruled out following the latest news, either, although the commissioner's use of the word "moving" could give us a hint.

If you want to enjoy Apple TV+ and maybe NFL Sunday Ticket in style, be sure to check out our list of the best Prime Day Apple deals available as part of Amazon Prime Day.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.