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The Clock Is Ticking for Apple to Claim Sunday Ticket

My point is that, whatever it is that stands in the way of this deal with Apple, is nothing that is going to significantly impact the end consumer.

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If you were excited about getting your NFL Sunday Ticket with a charging cord that is too short, you might not be in luck. It has appeared for quite a while that Apple was the leading contender to land the NFL’s pay-per-view property but there may be a snag. CNBC reported this week there is a major bump in the negotiations between the league and the tech giant.

Seriously, with some of the smartest people in the world working for them, how did Apple determine that was the optimal length for a charging cord? I know that sounds like an old Jerry Seinfeld bit but it has always puzzled me. Did nobody ever measure the distance from the wall outlet to my recliner?

While Apple may put little value in the convenience of recharging their product, Alex Sherman’s CNBC report speculates they put great value in getting more out of Sunday Ticket than what DirecTV did. It appears the sticking point for Apple is their desire for a deal with the NFL to more resemble their deal with the MLS. Sherman adds that, in that deal with the pro soccer league, Apple is the exclusive domestic and international rights holder. In short, they control everything in their broadcast deal.

You may want to sit down before I inform you the NFL rights deals and the MLS rights deals are not even located in the same universe. It is literally the difference between an iPhone and a Jitterbug. To think the NFL would have any interest in giving Apple the same type deal they have with the MLS is nonsensical. But these are the types of negotiation stumbling blocks you encounter when one of the world’s largest business brands tries to partner with one of the world’s largest sports brands; neither are accustomed to being told “no”.

The other more obvious issue would be the current NFL contracts with FOX, CBS, NBC, ESPN/Disney and Amazon. That is not to say Apple doesn’t have the cash to match or exceed all of those deals combined but there isn’t a reason for any of those entities to walk away. NFL rights are expensive but they are also a massive ratings draw and cash cow for all of those networks.

So, where does that leave Sunday Ticket? The NFL had teased a “Fall 2022 announcement” and my yard is constantly full of leaves, so it seems like that clock is ticking rather quickly. The NFL isn’t without other suitors, far from it. It has been no mystery that Disney and Amazon are very interested in making Sunday Ticket a large part of their streaming portfolio.

One wonders, though, if the appeal to the NFL is adding yet another major corporation stroking them a check. They are already getting money from Amazon and Disney, would Apple be a stuffed animal head on Roger Goodell’s wall? If the matter was simply financial, nobody is outbidding the tech giant. Money isn’t the only thing, though. The NFL’s significant margins allow them to potentially take less to find a deal that better suits their desires.

As a frequent Sunday Ticket consumer – I am a Miami Dolphins fan in Birmingham, Alabama – I can’t imagine what Apple could add to Sunday Ticket that would make it more appealing. There are only two things I expect out of Sunday Ticket: that my team’s game is available if it isn’t shown locally in my market and that the mobile app is functional just in case I have to watch on the go. 

For me, anything else is superfluous. Apple, Disney and Amazon are already giving me streaming video on my phone, that hurdle is cleared. Now, just get the rights to the games and we are off. 

My point is that, whatever it is that stands in the way of this deal with Apple, is nothing that is going to significantly impact the end consumer. This would all be about off screen business that makes a deal more attractive for Apple. As long as the games are there for me to see, I’m not overly concerned with who ultimately holds the broadcast rights.

The leaves are falling and the self imposed NFL announcement deadline is drawing near. Those of us who depend on Sunday Ticket to watch our favorite team just want to know how much we’ll be on the hook for and to what massive corporation we’ll be sending that money.

Just to be safe, I’m going to go to the black market and buy the extra long charging cord. I’ll just need to find one that is aqua and orange.

Barrett Blogs

BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

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Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Does The Return of Bob Iger Mean to ESPN?

Demetri Ravanos

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Demetri Ravanos has questions about Disney going back to the future with Bob Iger. This entire episode of Media Noise is all about what the change at the top of the Walt Disney Company indicates about the future of ESPN.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Is Realistic For FOX at the World Cup?

Demetri Ravanos

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On this special holiday edition of Media Noise, Demetri Ravanos dives into the controversy and criticism surrounding FOX’s coverage of the World Cup in Qatar.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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