Big Technology Making Its Way Into Live Sports
By: Emma Wei
In order to boost their streaming services, tech brands Apple and Amazon are fighting for media rights to National Football League, Major League Baseball, Formula One racing, and
Tech companies with streaming services are attempting to make a future without cable. According to The New York Times, “Since 2015, traditional pay television has lost a quarter of its subscribers — about 25 million homes — as people traded cable packages for apps like Netflix and Hulu.”
Sports take up 95 out of 100 most-watched programs on TV. It’s no surprise tech companies have taken an interest.
In addition, the price of live sports is going to continue increasing. According to The New York Times, “The biggest media companies, including Disney, Comcast, Paramount and Fox, are expected to spend a combined $24.2 billion for rights in 2024.”
The N.F.L. Sunday Ticket package shows out-of-market N.F.L games that are not being broadcasted on local television.
DirecTV, the previous owner of the N.F.L. Sunday Ticket rights, plans to sell the package for $2.5 million annually. They are not planning to keep the package, due to it losing $500 million annually, although having 2 million loyal subscribers. This is over $1 billion more than the current price. Apple and Amazon are not the only big-name brands putting in offers. Youtube, owned by Google, has joined as well.
The final deal has been delayed due to negotiations due to other N.F.L. assets being sold simultaneously. These assets include NFL Network, RedZone channel, and NFL+. According to the media and other tech companies, Apple is in the best position to close the deal.
Apple is very determined to win the package, making it a priority. Apple’s chief director, Tim Cook, met with league officials and influential team owners.
Despite Apple being the front-runner, Youtube, Amazon, and ESPN+ remain in consideration.