Roger Goodell, the National Football League’s commissioner, flew to Sun Valley, Idaho, this summer for Allen & Company’s annual media conference, confident that the N.F.L. It was very close to announcing its most important TV rights deal.
“We will probably have some decision by the fall,” He told CNBC at the time.
Nearly five months later, however, the league continues to search for a technology company or media company that will replace DirecTV. Sunday TicketThe enables fans to view every N.F.L. game via the. Every game is available, regardless of where it’s broadcast. According to five sources familiar with the talks, negotiations are expected to continue into next year.
The Sunday Ticket Analysts closely monitor negotiations and executives. N.F.L. live sports are a particular favorite. Traditional television’s last staple is still games. It pays how much, who is the winning bidder and who it pays and The structure of the deal will have profound implications for sports and media and Technology industries
Bidding Sunday Ticket’s valuable package of games could set a precedent for how much tech firms like Apple and Google They are willing to pay to get viewers from traditional TV companies that still rely on subscription fees and Advertisement to help you stay afloat.
The competitive landscape Sunday Ticket According to people familiar with the talks, this has changed as the talks drag on. Sports and For years, media executives have been considering Apple The tech giant was considered the front-runner. Some bidders said they believed the agreement had been reached.
In the absence of a deal, however, Google has stepped up its pursuit, aiming to win the package for YouTube TV, the company’s streaming-cable service, four of these people said. Amazon is another interested bidder and Disney’s ESPN.
The Race to Rule Streaming TV
Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s chief business officer, has played a key role in Google’s pursuit. Three people who know him well said that Kyncl will be moving to a new position as Warner Music Group’s chief executive in the first year of next year, but he has pledged to work with YouTube to complete the deal. He has a relationship with Brian Rolapp, the N.F.L.’s chief business officer, who worked with Mr. Knycl during Google’s unsuccessful bid for Sunday Ticket 2013
The league’s negotiations with Apple, Google and Some have been protracted by the attempt to bundle out-of market products Sunday N.F.L. Games with other media assets NFL Network and The NFL These people claim that RedZone is a channel.
Last year, the N.F.L. Goldman Sachs was hired by the N.F.L. to assist it in exploring selling a stake in these media businesses. The decision was partly driven by the league’s the recognition that Sunday Ticket RedZone is the competitor for subscribers. and Among the live Sunday Football games are closer to touchdowns when the teams are playing.
You can seek investors through this channel and The N.F.L. and other media companies. must negotiate how to structure a joint venture with an investment partner that would likely want a voice in the co-owned company’s operating structure, these people said.
One media executive has worked with both Apple and N.F.L. Another reason for the prolonged impasse was that both sides are used to winning in negotiations.
The N.F.L. AppleAmazon and ESPN They declined to comment. Google didn’t immediately have comment.
The league wants more than $2.5 Billion annually. This is a $1 billion increase over the eight-year contract that expires at this point. It is seeking a long-term partner in the rights. The league has already secured its marquee packages for Thursdays and Sundays last year. and Mondays with 11-year contracts
N.F.L. may face additional challenges due to a slower economy. It tries to close deals that could exceed $10 billion in its lifetime. Tech and Wall Street is putting pressure on media companies as well as media companies and Investors to reduce staff and After years of lavish spending, control spending is an opportunity to reverse the trend.
The downturn has helped sour some Wall Street analysts on Amazon’s $1 billion-a-year deal for “Thursday Night Football.” Tom Forte, an analyst from D.A. Davidson, an analyst with D.A., expressed doubts that Amazon Prime would generate enough revenue to cover its costs. He added that Amazon’s struggle to make money meant it was highly unlikely to make a serious bid for Sunday Ticket.
“At a time when technology companies are tightening their belts, it would be shocking to see Amazon spend more for N.F.L. rights given the challenges they have already had,” Mr. Forte stated.
There’s similar skepticism about the viability of a bid from ESPN. Rich Greenfield, an analyst at LightShed Partners, said Robert Iger’s return as chief executive made Disney, which owns 80 percent of ESPN, more likely to cut costs at ESPN or sell it. He cited Mr. Iger’s remarks at a conference hosted by Vox Media in September, when he said he was “not bullish” Several traditional media businesses.
Google Also, there has been pressure to cut costs and Its ranks have been trimmed. In October, YouTube reported that YouTube sales had declined. and search, Google’s executives committed to cut hiring in half and Reduce spending.
But Mr. Kyncl stated that they would consider a deal. Sunday Ticket wouldn’t be subject to the company’s belt-tightening, said two people familiar with his thinking. He said that it would be an excellent investment due to the YouTube TV subscribers it would bring in, which could rival DirecTV’s current two million subscribers. Sunday Ticket deal.
Apple Although it has not experienced a slowdown in business for most of the year due to Covid-19, production was hampered by an outbreak at its largest iPhone factory. and It could see a drop in sales during the Christmas holidays. Tim Cook is still available. Apple’s chief executive, has said he believes in investing through a downturn, and A deal with N.F.L. That philosophy would work well for a decade.
The N.F.L. The N.F.L. was aggressively pursued Apple You can also use it as a Sunday Ticket partner earlier this year in part because it didn’t have any major business relationships with the tech giant, three people familiar with the talks said. The league reached a deal with the tech giant this fall, which cooled the urgency. Apple Sponsor of the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
As Sunday Ticket Talks stalled, N.F.L. The N.F.L. focused on a separate search to find an independent studio that could produce. and Distribute football-related movies along with the league. NFL Films are what make documentaries and Others shows also put out a proposal, which attracted interest by bidders like A24 and North Road. and Skydance, the studio which co-produced “Top Gun: Maverick,” Two people familiar with the search provided their opinions.
Mr. Rolapp, the leader of negotiations for this league, met recently with bidders and Skydance Sports was chosen to team up with N.F.L. to develop and Distribute film and Television projects. One of the N.F.L.’s biggest objectives is marketing the sport by reaching younger audiences and Television viewers from outside the United States.
Work on the deal shifted the league’s focus away from Sunday Ticket listened to some of these people. Only a few N.F.L. executives are involved in these negotiations. The league is limited in its ability to participate in simultaneous media negotiations because of the involvement of top executives. Skydance has been chosen, and the league will likely pick up the pieces. Sunday Ticket talks.