We may soon find out just how valuable out of market NFL games are. John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that NFL Sunday Ticket is likely to hit the open market in the next round of NFL media negotiations.
“DirecTV pays an average of $1.5 billion per year for an exclusive deal that ends after the 2022 regular season,” Ourand writes. “The NFL currently is negotiating a new deal, and sources say that DirecTV has showed tepid interest, at best. Right now, it seems virtually certain that DirecTV will not have the out-of-market package exclusively. Sources say it is likely that DirecTV will take a pass on the package altogether.”
The future of NFL Sunday Ticket is certainly going to be interesting. Is the NFL considering one broadcast and one streaming partner for out of market games? Is it considering splitting the games in half and forcing fans to pay for two different packages to get every game?
Plenty of suitors are expected to step forward and Ourand reports that all of the expected streaming giants are ready to bid. The NFL already has a relationship with Amazon. Disney could use an NFL Sunday Ticket ticket deal for ESPN+ to lure a Super Bowl to ABC in the event it is shut out on picking up a second TV package. Other possibilities include Peacock and Apple TV+.
Jay Rigdon of Awful Announcing floats an interesting idea for a landing spot. DirecTV has always marketed itself as a cable alternative. Could NFL Sunday Ticket end up at a 21st century cable alternative like YouTubeTV? The service did add a premium sports tier last year that includes the Red Zone channel.
Whoever ends up with NFL Sunday Ticket, the only sure thing is probably that the price is going to skyrocket. ESPN pays $2 billion for Monday Night Football alone. Sure, that price also gets the network wall-to-wall highlights, the NFL Draft, and the Pro Bowl, but even all of that should cost considerably less than every single out-of-market game and something like NFL Red Zone.
Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX
“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”
FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.
A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.
The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.
Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.
That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.
Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.
FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”
The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.
Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.
Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”
Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.
“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.
FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.
NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC
“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”
ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.
ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.
This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.
Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.
“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”
ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.