Amid ongoing speculation that Apple is nearing (or has already struck 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 eventually be bundled with the Sunday Ticket package if sold to Apple.
As we explained before, NFL Sunday Ticket is an off-market sports package that broadcasts regular season NFL games every week. The rights are currently owned by DirecTV. This new NFL Plus streaming service would be limited to “what fans might otherwise see in their local TV markets.”
The report explains that “live games on mobile phones and tablets” will be the main feature of the NFL Plus service, which is expected to cost $5 per month. This service replaces previous offerings that provided live streaming for local games through Yahoo and deals with mobile phone providers.
The report adds that NFL Plus could be included in a deal between Apple and the NFL, should Apple eventually acquire the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket:
NFL Plus comes to the fore as talks continue over the potential sale of an equity stake in NFL Media properties, with Apple and Amazon leading the way. If one of those deals comes through, NFL Plus can 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. This would allow Apple users to subscribe to Sunday Ticket and NFL Plus and access both out-of-market games and local market games through a single platform.
Apple is rumored to be the frontrunner for the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket. A report last month suggested that Apple and the NFL may have already reached a behind-the-scenes deal, with the deal being kept quiet until Apple is ready to announce it. What’s still unclear is how much Apple will charge for NFL access.
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