DAZN wants in on streaming of Sunday Ticket

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Under former ESPN president John Skipper’s leadership, DAZN has made some big moves — and it has some big ambitions. It’s biggest move yet would achieve its biggest ambition.

Via Bloomberg.com, DAZN wants to explore a streaming arrangement with the NFL.

We’re definitely interested in looking at the NFL rights,” DAZN Chief Executive Officer Simon Denyer told Bloomberg.com. “Our strategy is to be a major player in sports rights via OTT, and the U.S. and Canada have the highest penetration of OTT in the world.”

DAZN already has the NFL’s streaming rights in Canada, an arrangement that failed spectacularly in 2017. But DAZN has come a long way since then.

The NFL can opt out of its current Sunday Ticket deal with DirecTV after the 2019 season, but the NFL must activate the opt out before the start of the 2019 regular season. It won’t be an easy decision for the league, given that DirecTV currently pays $1.5 billion annually for the rights to broadcast, via satellite and streaming, out-of-market games throughout the United States.

That’s a big-ass bird in the hand, and the NFL will need to be confident that there’s a bird of at least equal size in the bush. Otherwise, DirecTV will keep the American satellite and streaming rights through 2022, the duration of the league’s current contracts with NBC, CBS, and FOX.