NFL will choose new Sunday ticketing partner in fall, Commissioner Roger Goodell says

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during the NFL Football game between the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts on October 3, 2021 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, FL.

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The National Football League plans to choose a streaming service as its new Sunday Ticket partner and will select a winner in the fall, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday.

“I clearly believe we’re going to move into the streaming service,” Goodell told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin in an exclusive interview at the Allen & Co. Sun Valley in Idaho. “I think that’s the best thing for consumers at this stage.”

Apple, Amazon and Disney, own ESPN+, all of which submitted bids to become the league’s exclusive Sunday Ticket distributor, CNBC reported last month. Goodell confirmed discussions have been going on for more than a year to find a new partner to replace DirecTV, whose contract with the league ended after this season.

Sunday tickets are the only way fans can watch NFL Sunday afternoon games live outside of what’s airing in their local markets on CBS and FOX. DirecTV paid $1.5 billion for royalties annually. The NFL now wants more than $2 billion a year, CNBC reported.

The contract language with CBS and Fox would prevent any streaming service from charging fans significantly less than the current $300 cost for Sunday Tickets, CNBC reported.

DirecTV is not bidding to renew the package but is open to partnering with the winner, CNBC reported. Under its current agreement with the NFL, DirecTV requires Sunday Ticket subscribers to also subscribe to its pay-TV service, with rare exceptions.. That requirement is gone with a new streaming service partner, potentially opening Sunday Ticket sales to a wider audience.

Goodell noted that many people who watch the game on the streaming service do not subscribe to traditional pay TV, allowing the tournament to attract a larger audience by transferring the Sunday Ticket to a digital provider. .

“We truly believe these new platforms give us the ability to innovate where we are today,” says Goodell. “Obviously it makes it more available to our consumers, especially the younger demographic, which is something we really want to reach. I think this will help fans. more accessible. I think it’s going to be a better experience for the fans.”

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