Despite Apple TV+ being new to the Streaming Wars, they are in the running for the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket, right alongside Amazon and YouTube.
In a report from The Athletic, it’s stated that NFL commissioner and Apple CEO Tim Cook engage in dialogue regularly. But the really interesting nugget is cited here from Cord Cutters News:
The NFL has long been under pressure to open Sunday Ticket to more platforms than just satellite, and streaming it through Apple TV would solve that concern.The Athletic (via Cord Cutters News)
It seems like an uphill battle for Apple TV+ to fight. However, it’s also an ideal chance to diversify its own content by providing a unique platform for the NFL.
Power players already have a seat at the table
Prime Video has not only hosted Thursday Night Football, but is also proving its worth by streaming English Premier League matches.
By providing so many services under one hub, Amazon is hard to beat from a convenience standpoint. Their annual Prime membership fee encompasses so much, and includes all the benefits of their streaming service — along with add-ons you’d have for your usual pay TV. That is presumably how NFL Sunday Ticket would function.
But who may have more say than even giants like Apple and Amazon over the future of the Internet, streaming and home entertainment? Google, YouTube’s parent company.
YouTube TV has the chance to outright abolish traditional pay TV packages. Their subscriptions feature just about anything you could ask for from cable at a better price.
Right now, too, YouTube TV seems like the ideal destination for cord-cutting sports fans.
Apple TV+ offers unique NFL Sunday Ticket flexibility
While YouTube TV is a total cord-cutting proposition and Amazon has a premium streaming service but with all the other external stuff included, Apple TV+ is more niche.
Here’s a potential strategy: since the $4.99 per month price point is so low as is, it’s possible Apple TV+ could barely raise it and have Sunday Ticket included. That’s right. Instead of asking subscribers to add on and pay a huge premium, just have it be part of the package.
Apple has the purchasing power to make this work. It can fork over tons of cash to the NFL for the Sunday Ticket rights and help compensate for whatever would be lost in standalone add-on sales.
It sounds radical. Maybe the NFL wouldn’t agree to it. Or maybe the two sides find middle ground on that front. However it’s done, if Apple TV+ could maneuver to make Sunday Ticket complementary, subscribers would absolutely boom.
With how ubiquitous Apple is on smartphones, laptops and tablets, too, the NFL could be seen by an unprecedented amount of people, at optimal convenience, worldwide.
Apple’s innate advantage on technological devices also makes it an appealing Sunday Ticket destination. Whatever happens, it’ll be fascinating to see how this epic Streaming Wars battle plays out.