On October 3, 2021, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will preside over the NFL Football game between the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts.
According to Commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday, the National Football League intends to choose a streaming platform as its new Sunday Ticket partner and will make a decision by the fall.
Goodell told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin in an exclusive interview at the Allen & Co. Sun Valley conference in Idaho, “I clearly believe we’ll be moving to a streaming service.” “I believe that, at this time, is best for consumers.”
According to CNBC last month, Apple, Amazon, and Disney—which owns ESPN+—have all submitted bids to become the league’s sole distributor of Sunday Tickets. Goodell acknowledged that talks to replace DirecTV, whose contract with the league expires after this season, have been ongoing for more than a year.
Outside of what is shown on CBS and FOX in their respective local markets, Sunday Ticket is the only way for fans to watch live NFL Sunday afternoon games. The annual rights cost $1.5 billion paid by DirecTV. According to CNBC, the NFL now demands more than $2 billion annually.
CNBC reported that contractual language with CBS and Fox would prevent any streaming service from charging fans significantly less than the current $300 cost for Sunday Ticket.
Despite not submitting a bid to renew the package, DirecTV is ready to collaborate with the victor, according to CNBC. With rare exceptions, DirecTV’s current agreement with the NFL requires customers who sign up for Sunday Ticket to also sign up for its pay-TV service. With a new streaming service partner, that requirement will be eliminated, potentially making Sunday Ticket available to a much larger audience.
By moving Sunday Ticket to a digital provider, the league will be able to reach a wider audience, according to Goodell, who pointed out that many people who watch games on streaming services do not have traditional pay TV subscriptions.
We firmly believe that these new platforms enable us to innovate where we are at the moment, according to Goodell. “Naturally, it increases its accessibility for our customers, especially the younger demographic, which is the one we really want to reach. This, in my opinion, will improve accessibility for fans. Fans will likely have a better experience, in my opinion.”
NFL+, the league’s own streaming service, will debut in September in time for the upcoming season, according to Goodell. He didn’t give specifics on the cost or what will be offered, but he emphasized that NFL+’s content would probably get better over time.
It’s really in the early stages, according to Goodell. “It will probably keep expanding as time goes on. We will use it as a key tactic moving forward.”
NFL+ is anticipated to go live later this month, according to a May article in Sports Business Journal.