NFL: ‘Streaming is Extremely Important’ for Sunday Ticket & Future Media Deals

As the NFL looks to score a touchdown by securing a streaming deal for NFL Sunday Ticket, NFL Chief Media and Business Officer Brian Rolapp joined CNBC’s ‘TechCheck’ to discuss the league’s media deals and streaming future. During the interview, Rolapp stated that “streaming is extremely important“ and when the NFL secured their most recent media deals, the league wanted to make sure that their “partners had the rights to drive streaming” to reach as many viewers as the league can.

Many streaming services are trying to court a deal for the rights to out-of-market games via Sunday Ticket. Recently, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said his company will be bidding on streaming rights to bolster ESPN+. They will have stiff competition from tech giants like Amazon, who is not only interested in Sunday Ticket but have reportedly taken the lead in the bid for a 49% stake in NFL Media’s properties. Apple has been another rumored frontrunner for Sunday Ticket’s streaming rights.

The NFL could change the game by awarding multiple platforms Sunday Ticket’s streaming rights, and split games by conferences, similarly to how Fox and CBS broadcast the NFC and AFC, respectively.

Outside of out-of-market game viewing via Sunday Ticket, Rolapp spoke about the other sets of media rights that the league is searching for:

  • Partners for owned-and-operated Assets including NFL Network and the RedZone Channel – Roger Gooddell previously stated that Sunday Ticket “might” be included in this deal
  • Partnerships to increase the presence of NFL Films on streaming platforms
  • Partnerships for in-market game mobile rights

For now, DIRECTV is the exclusive home of NFL Sunday Ticket, but the clock is running out as that deal expires at the end of the upcoming season. With viewership for the Super Bowl increasing across linear and streaming platforms, expect there to be a bidding war between streaming services to provide fans with more NFL content.