Seattle Seahawks DK Metcalf during a meet and greet with DIRECTVNFL SUNDAY TICKET subscribers at the DIRECTVNFL SUNDAY TICKET Lounge in Miami, Florida on Saturday, February 1, 2020.
Peter Valeras | AP
Disney, Apple When Amazon All bids have been submitted to become the new broadcast rights owner for the National Football League off-market Sunday ticket package. They are just waiting to find out who will win.
The three companies submitted bids a few weeks ago, according to people familiar with the matter. The NFL is still in talks with all three bidders in deciding which partner to choose, people who asked not to name because the negotiations are private, said.
The NFL wants to pay buyers more than $ 2 billion for the rights and shares of the NFL media included in the Sunday ticket, the three said. NFL mobile rights may also be part of the package for some time Mobile contract with Verizon finished.
DirecTV Paid $ 1.5 billion annually Sunday tickets for existing rights ending after the next 2022-23 season. NFL Push to increase 100% Although it was a major game package last year, it’s unlikely that the league will win $ 3 billion on Sunday Ticket, which has historically lost DirecTV’s money.
Many observers, including some bidders themselves, have expressed surprise that the deal has never been closed. The delay is related to the combination of assets and related partnership conversations summarized in the deal negotiations, two people said. If the discussion was focused solely on Sunday tickets, one would probably have already reached an agreement, one said.
DirecTV is already offering tickets for next Sunday, so there’s no urgency to announce. Bidder wants enough time to warn consumers that the owner of Sunday ticket rights will change, so they want to close the transaction early rather than later.
Amazon, Apple, Disney and NFL spokespersons declined to comment.
DirecTV also requested that all Sunday ticket package owners be DirecTV’s customers. That condition no longer applies to this new deal and opens the package to many new subscribers who no longer hesitate to spend hundreds of dollars on the package because they didn’t want DirecTV.
DirecTV hasn’t bid on the current rights package, but they’re happy to close the deal with the winning buyer, the two said. If an agreement is reached, the financial burden on the winning streaming platform can be reduced.
DirecTV is interested in maintaining relationships with bars and restaurants. Sunday tickets are a staple of sports bars that use game packages to attract non-local game fans. Most fans have no other way to see their favorite team. Sunday tickets are also popular with sports gamblers who want to watch multiple games at the same time.
DirecTV will also consider acting as a residential pass-through. Under such an agreement, it can transfer all income of the Sunday ticket to the rights owner, but can still provide it to the customer. This allows DirecTV to reduce churn while reducing consumer switching costs. It also blocks potential streaming delays and reliability issues associated with live soccer broadcasts over broadband.
Still, it is unclear if the winning bidder is interested in such a partnership. Building a commercial relationship can be attractive to Disney, Apple, or Amazon, and the winner may want to be the direct contact of all Sunday ticket subscribers.
AT & T Spin out DirecTV last year. It is now a private, independent company jointly owned by AT & T and private equity firm TPG. When AT & T acquired DirecTV in 2015, Sunday ticket rights were so important that the entire $ 49 billion transaction was Subjected to renewal of long-term contract with NFL.. However, with less than 2 million subscribers enrolling in the package each year, Sunday Tickets are a financial loss for satellite TV providers, according to those familiar with the issue.
A DirecTV spokesman declined to comment.
Amazon Already acquired exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football Disney’s ESPN owns Monday Night Football, and Apple will represent NFL’s new global partner with the world’s largest corporate balance sheet. It’s attractive to the NFL because it potentially brings new bidders to the table for future transaction negotiations.
Apple has shown its ability to broadcast live sports by streaming major league baseball games this year, but some fans, especially older fans, have shown their ability to broadcast live sports. Complained about the exclusive streaming package.. Apple also agreed to stream Major League Soccer games earlier this month with a 10-year deal announcement.Amazon Become the first exclusive streaming provider for NFL games When we started playing Thursday Night Football this year.
Apple wants to own the global rights to Sunday Ticket, the two said. According to one, the NFL hasn’t reached the stage of discussions with Apple and has decided to offer it to Apple or sell it separately. DirecTV currently owns only US rights.
It’s also unclear if Apple or Amazon is interested in buying a minority stake in NFL Media, including the cable networks NFL Network and Red Zone, and the digital site NFL.com. Both tech companies may have little interest in the traditional pay-TV business. Bleeding millions of subscribers each year.. However, if the league links Sunday tickets to NFL media transactions, the two companies may bite bullets to close the transaction.
One said the league could eventually decide to sell its shares in the NFL Media individually.
Buyers also have limited pricing flexibility, according to people familiar with the matter.
When the NFL signed a deal with CBS and Fox, Sunday tickets include words that require a premium price so they don’t pull too much eyeball out of the local market Sunday afternoon games acquired by the broadcast network. It was.
This means that those who own the rights to Sunday tickets cannot significantly reduce the price of packages that are not on the market. This usually costs about $ 300 a year. It also prevents existing streaming services such as ESPN + from adding Sunday tickets at little or no additional cost to increase subscribers.
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