Amazon Eyes Streaming Deal for the NFL Sunday Ticket Games

Amazon is among contenders for the rights to the NFL’s “Sunday Ticket” programming package, CNBC reported, citing anonymous sources.

The league wants up to $2.5 billion annually for the package on which DirecTV has been losing money for 27 years, CNBC reported. In May, Amazon emerged as the winner in bidding for the right to the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” and will pay $1 billion a year to show games on its Prime Video service.

CNBC reported that an Amazon spokesman declined to comment on any potential “Sunday Ticket” bid.

DirecTV’s contract for the rights runs through the 2022-2023 season.

CNBC quoted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as having said “(‘Sunday Ticket’) maybe will be more attractive on a digital platform.” He also told CNBC the league will like to find one entity to acquire the rights to “Sunday Night” and also invest in NFL Network and NFL Redzone.

CNBC also noted that ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro recently told Bloomberg “Sunday Ticket” is “an incredibly valuable product” and that ESPN-parent Disney has discussed potential arrangements with the NFL.

CNBC stated that it was unclear whether DirecTV, which recently was spun off by parent NBC, could afford to contend for “Sunday Ticket” against likely rivals. CNBC noted that to break even with “Sunday Ticket” at the $300 annual subscription cost it charges, DirecTV would need 5 million subscribers — but the number has hovered around 2 million in recent years.

According to CNBC, any number of potential bidders, including DirecTV, could see considerable value in deploying a football programming package as a loss leader that would draw subscribers who also would purchase additional services or products.

For its part, Amazon continues to build its brand with acquisitions in its quest to make Amazon Prime indispensable.

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