Buying a stake in NFL Media could be the key to landing Sunday Ticket

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The NFL is looking to sell of a portion of its media conglomerate. That transaction could be the key to a much more significant property.

As explained by John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, there could be a connection between ponying up for a chunk of NFL Media and procuring the rights to Sunday Ticket.

That puts the likes of Amazon and Apple directly in play. If buying a piece of NFL Network includes wresting from DirecTV the streaming side of Sunday Ticket, it makes sense for either or both of those streaming conglomerates to come to the table with bags full of cash.

NFL Network, which debuted nearly 18 years ago, never has developed that traction that the league expected. In the early days, the league struggled to get its desired fees for the in-house TV content machine. That’s why the league embarked in 2006 on Thursday Night Football; it gave NFL Network something far more significant and valuable than NFL Films content, studio shows, and/or the re-airing of games.

When the NFL turned TNF into a broadcast-network property, with CBS, NBC, and FOX each doing deals at one point or another over the past several years, rumors persisted that the TNF partner would end up buying all or part of NFLN. Now, as the expiration date looms for the 27-year relationship between the NFL and DirecTV, tying Sunday Ticket to NFLN makes a ton of sense.

At a time when all NFL-related content has increasing value (thanks to the gambling boom), the league could finally cash in by partially cashing out, retaining control over the content and messaging while also getting someone else to maximize distribution and to absorb plenty of the operating costs.

At the end of the day, the transaction won’t be cheap. The league recognizes the value of its content, and the league will want to be paid accordingly — and then some. By making that deal part of the broader Sunday Ticket transaction, the NFL could finally realize its long-awaited financial windfall for its build-it-and-they’ll-come media empire. Through nearly a generation, the money hasn’t come, at least not in the way the powers-that-be envisioned. Now, with a glut of content providers (including cash-flush sports books) scrambling for content and the Sunday Ticket package firmly in play, the league may be making its move at the ideal time.

26 responses to “Buying a stake in NFL Media could be the key to landing Sunday Ticket

  1. As long as it’s staffed by a bunch of “woke” ex-players, it’ll never “gain traction”

  2. 760raptor says:
    June 29, 2021 at 12:47 am
    Don’t worry, the NFL will screw it up, and screw viewers in the process.


    There sure is a lot of whining and complaining from some people about a product that draws millions and millions of viewers. Any time there is a story about television contracts or announcers we get: “Direct TV is awful; NFL Network is terrible; Aikman, Buck, Collinsworth, Romo, etc. are horrible; “I’m getting ripped off on my cable bill”, blah, blah, blah.

    Meanwhile, tens of millions of people are enjoying the NFL product every week. Perhaps the constant complainers should do self-examination about what is wrong with them instead of a product that the huge majority of people obviously have no problem with.

  3. 760raptor
    Well, if yiu mean it will cost you something, that’s probably right.
    In terms of the NFL “screwing it up” that is a dumb statement. It is a cash cow for them and the NFL is far and away the most popular major league sport due to how the NFL has developed it.
    The only way they will “screw it up” is if they continue to bow to wokeism, cop haters, flag burners and other non football activism.
    Keep that up and they will lose about 50% of the paying audience.

  4. Next, the owners and executives will be auctioning off their 2nd, 3rd and 4th born children (they don’t matter as much anyway). Watching Euro 2020 has been so refreshing. No commercials during gametime. No products being rammed in my face every 40 seconds. Yearly financial growth for eternity is unsustainable. This balloon will pop someday.

  5. Please, someone Free Brittney and Free Sunday Ticket while you’re at it. Anyone.

  6. NFL Network is great. However, I like many other consumers do not want to add yet another package to our cable bills. People are sick and tired of being nickeled and dimed for content and monthly cable bills in the hundreds. If the NFL added NFL Network to basic cable viewership would soar and they would make up the revenue in the advertisement.

  7. The NFL will get a ton of money and whoever lands Sunday Ticket will need to charge high prices to get a return on that investment. Hopefully they won’t mess with Red Zone, which I watch all day on Sundays.

  8. Talk about overplayed, NFL Network has the most stale tv on the planet. Morning show needs an immediate upgrade, .

  9. if there is one thing we know, the NFL is going to charge and get a HUGE sum of cash for Sunday Ticket. The only thing they won’t mess up is the amount of cash they will get.

  10. Smart play would be to spin off NFL media and take it public as a separate entity. Include NFL Network, streaming and Sunday Ticket. Each ownership group gets 2% of shares which would add liquidity to their net worth.

  11. I would pay pretty decent money to be able to stream all of the Patriots games, but the NFL doesn’t seem to want my money.

  12. The only way they will “screw it up” is if they continue to bow to wokeism, cop haters, flag burners and other non football activism.


    “Get off my lawn!”

  13. As long as the next iteration of Sunday Ticket allows be to buy a specific team package for a cheaper price, then all of the games (90% of which I don’t watch)….I don’t care who gets it.

  14. *point and laughs at everyone whining the sky is falling over “woke” and all that other make believe crap*

    I’ve been reading these prediction since Kaepernick took a knee and the NFL is still going strong and making money hand over fist. The NFL is a juggernaut and you personal political leanings has not and will not stop them. You are just like the Simpson’s meme of the old man yelling at the sky.

  15. I had the Sunday Ticket package for several years with Directv. Until I realized that I wasn’t really using it. I am a Bills fan, so most of the games that were on Sunday Ticket were Eastern Time Zone games, as was ours. So I didn’t see most of the other games anyway. There were only 2 or 3 late games offered, most of which I had no interest in. Then the NFL started adding games on Monday nights (some doubleheaders) and Thursday nights. These games were all on National TV and thus weren’t on Sunday Ticket anyway. It ended up being a huge waste of money. The NFL is cutting it’s own throat by over saturating the market. Unless you are someone that switches from game to game for gambling purposes, I don’t thing the appeal is there for the average fan.

  16. I had Sunday Ticket until last year when I could not work a deal on a discount package. They were adamant and so was I, I passed. Didn’t miss much to be honest. $300 a year is just way too much.
    DTV will be in big trouble if they lose Sunday Ticket and they know it. Of course they will want to raise their prices way up to make up for the lose but that’s when I and millions say adios.
    I read where ATT had offers out for DTV but weren’t getting the money they were asking for.

  17. Jkossrt
    I used to DVR the other one o’clock games I wanted to see.
    Not sure why you wouldn’t do that.
    If all you wanted were Bills games you did waste your money.
    The real value of Sunday ticket is for people who live OUT OF MARKET of their favorite team.
    Unless you were a Packers or Pats or Dallas fan (who get about 8 nationally televised games every year…

  18. I had the ticket (and DirecTV) for years. Every year they’d try to charge an ungodly amount for the Ticket. Usually a few calls got it renewed for free (once had to take a $200 credit but just as good in my book as it still saved on the Ticket price). Of course, that was also before AT&T bought up DirecTV, so it may be different now…..

    Had a nice thing going. Watch RedZone all day, Tivo the game I want to watch. At end of redzone, watch Tivoed game while recording Sunday night game- Allowed me to fast forward through the pregame and commercials until watching the last quarter or so in real time. Advertisement free football from 1:00 PM EST to about 11:00 PM EST. Couldn’t beat it…..

  19. Have had the Sunday Ticket for 24 years.
    It’s nice to see any game you want, but as I’ve gotten older, it’s brilliant how the NFL made so much extra money by withholding choice.
    Fans should have boycotted the NFL in 72 so they couldn’t black out the Redskins in DC during the NFCCG, or the Rams in the 77 playoffs.
    The NFL is cold money, and they understand we are extremely stupid.

  20. Goodell : Commissioner and Head Terrorist of the NFL.

    Sunday Ticket will be $799.99 per year or just $129.99 per out of market game.

  21. I want Amazon or Apple or some other streaming service to get Sunday Ticket. DirecTV is garbage and I left them as soon as I dropped Sunday Ticket. Don’t miss it with RedZone. But I’d expect a streaming service to add more added value than the idiots at AT&T.

  22. I used to be a ticket subscriber and it was the main reason I had direct TV. DtV also had great service, and it was worth the high costs.

    We moved on from direct TV because after the ATT merger the service went down hill and the price kept going up.

    Looking at it now , I was paying for dtv and the ticket usually for one or 2 games I wanted to watch each Sunday. Really, it’s not worth it.

    If the nfl were smart, they would allow PPV of single games. They woukd clean up.

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