Amid ongoing speculation that Apple is nearing a deal (or has already inked a deal) for the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket, the NFL is also planning its own “NFL Plus” streaming service. A new report from Sports Business Journal now indicates that NFL Plus could ultimately be bundled with the Sunday Ticket package if sold to Apple.
As we’ve detailed before, NFL Sunday Ticket is an out-of-market sports package that broadcasts regular season NFL games every week. The rights are currently held by DirecTV. This new NFL Plus streaming service is said to be limited to “what fans could otherwise see in their local TV markets.”
The report explains that “live games on mobile phones and tablets” will be the primary feature of the NFL Plus service, which is expected to run $5 per month. This service will replace previous offerings that provided live streaming for local games via Yahoo and deals with mobile phone carriers.
The report adds that NFL Plus could be rolled into a deal between Apple and the NFL, should Apple end up acquiring the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket:
NFL Plus comes to the front as talks continue over possibly selling an equity stake in NFL Media properties, with Apple and Amazon the front runners. If one of those deals comes to fruition, NFL Plus could be folded into that package.
The details here are still a bit sparse, but what this seemingly means is that Apple’s deal for Sunday Ticket cold also includes the rights to offer NFL Plus as well. This would allow Apple users to subscribe to Sunday Ticket and NFL Plus and access both out-of-market games and local market games via a single platform.
Apple is rumored to be the front-runner for rights to NFL Sunday Ticket. A report last month suggested that Apple and the NFL may have already reached a deal behind the scenes, and that the deal is being kept quiet until Apple is ready to announce it. What remains unclear is how much Apple will charge for NFL access.
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