By Anne Burke
Disney is in talks for the rights for “NFL Sunday Ticket” and could add it to its ESPN+ streaming
service, according to CEO Bob Chapek.
Chapek said the out-of-market games package “would make a particularly good addendum to our ESPN+ service.”
DirecTV pays $1.5 billion annually for the rights to “NFL Sunday Ticket” on a deal that runs until 2023.
The league is expected to ask for $2 billion to $2.5 billion annually for the package in its next deal.
ESPN+ had 17.1 million subscribers as of Oct. 2, with Disney earning an average of $4.74 per paid subscriber — meaning the service was bringing in $81.1 million monthly at the end of Disney’s fiscal quarter.
Currently, fans have to pay $300 for the entire “NFL Sunday Ticket” package, but future deals could allow them to pay only for certain teams’ games.
The NFL reportedly wants Apple to make a play for the game package. Amazon, which will have exclusive rights to “Thursday Night Football” starting next year, is also interested.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has previously referred to “NFL Sunday Ticket” as a “streaming product,” adding, ”I think that it’s best for our fans to make it accessible on a digital platform.”