Did Roger Goodell Just Rule Out ESPN for ‘NFL Sunday Ticket?‘

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed the obvious — the league's “NFL Sunday Ticket” out-of-market games package is moving away from the only home it has ever known after this season, DirecTV. 

Speaking to CNBC during this week's Sun Valley mucky-muck confab, he also made a comment that seemed to narrow the NFL's ultimate choice of winning bidder to Apple and Amazon. 

“I clearly believe we will be moving to a streaming service,” Goodell said. 

Also read: Could NFL Sunday Ticket Do for Apple TV Plus What It Did for DirecTV?

Apple and Amazon are currently bidding against each other, as well as Disney/ESPN, to assume rights to the premium add-on TV package, which is currently licensed by DirecTV for around $1 billion a year. 

DirecTV has licensed NFL Sunday Ticket since the satellite TV's emergence as a pay TV player in the mid-1990s, an arrangement Goodell said “has worked very well.”

“But we really believe that these new platforms give us the ability to innovate beyond where we are today for our customers and especially younger demos,” he said.

The league recently re-upped most of its TV deals, primarily sticking with traditional media incumbents in multiyear pacts that are collectively valued at around $110 billion and stretch out for the next decade. 

Notably, Amazon stepped in with a $1 billion-a-season, multiyear commitment to assume exclusive control of Thursday Night Football starting this season. 

Apple has yet to make big NFL play, but it has already secured several big sports rights packages, including MLB’s Friday Night Baseball and exclusive coverage of Major League Soccer.

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!