Apple has reportedly dropped out of NFL Sunday Ticket negotiations

The new frontrunners are Amazon and Google.

USA TODAY USPW / reuters

In 2021, Apple was considered the frontrunner to secure streaming rights to the National Football League’s Sunday Ticket package. Now, a year later, the company has reportedly dropped out of negotiations. The tidbit comes from a Puck article about Bob Iger’s surprise return to Disney. According to author Dylan Byers, Apple recently said no to the NFL “not because they can’t afford [the package], but because they don’t see the logic.”

With Disney reportedly bowing out of the negotiations as well, the talks have become a two-horse race between Amazon and Google. “Amazon can use [the deal] to drive Prime subscriptions; Google can use it to fuel its YouTube TV business,” adds Byers. Of the two suitors, Amazon is probably the best fit given that Prime Video is the exclusive home of Thursday Night Football for the next decade.

Last year, The Athletic reported the NFL was asking for more than $2 billion per year for Sunday Ticket rights, a price that was at least $500 million more than what DirecTV had been paying to air Sunday games. In a press conference earlier this week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Sunday Ticket negotiations were at “a very critical point” for the league. That seems to have been an understatement.