While it was expected that negotiations for the NFL’s Sunday Ticket package would result in a deal by the fall of this year, recent reports indicate that the talks have slowed and will likely stretch into 2023.
Apple is in the running for the prestigious package, as it looks to expand its sports offerings on its Apple TV+ streaming service. Apple currently holds the rights to MLB Friday Night Baseball and Major League Soccer packages.
A report by The New York Times says that negotiations are now likely to drag into next year. Apple is yet to finalize a deal, and Google is also reported to be a strong contender for the package.
The Sunday Ticket deal is expected to be worth somewhere around $2.5-$3 billion annually. NFL’s current partner on the package, DIRECTV, is not renewing its license due to the high costs.
The Times says one reason why talks have taken so long is that the NFL is attempting to bundle in a sale of other assets like NFL Network and the NFL RedZone channel.
Also, only a few NFL executives are involved in the negotiations, and they only recently closed a deal for its NFL Films division.
Apple is reportedly pushing for more flexibility with the NFL package, such as the freedom to offer games globally. Currently, NFL Sunday Ticket streams all regional NFL games on Sunday afternoons to out-of-market viewers in the U.S. only. However, the NFL is not willing to concede on these points.