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Apple leaves the field in NFL Sunday Ticket negotiations

NFL Sunday Ticket

Apple has allegedly backed out of its negotiations for the NFL Sunday Ticket, a deal that could've provided games to Apple TV+ subscribers at no cost.

The fight for the NFL Sunday Ticket has been hotly contested between streaming media giants, including Amazon, Disney, and Google. However, it is now said that Apple is distancing itself from the fight, potentially due to not getting what it wants.

According to a Puck News report, Apple was seen as a frontrunner to the rights for the NFL Sunday Ticket, which could've brought NFL games to the streaming service. However, Apple has reportedly "backed out of those negotiations."

While the report doesn't state specifically what Apple objected to, it adds that Apple pulled out "not because they can't afford it, but because they don't see the logic."

It is probable that the "logic" boils down to attempts by Apple to offer a sweet deal to its customers that the NFL objected to. In Friday's Sportico report about the ongoing negotiations, Apple wanted to secure the NFL Sunday Ticket and offer it to users as part of the existing Apple TV+ subscription, without any additional cost.

The NFL was not keen on this proposal, as it wanted to "protect the interests" of broadcast partners CBS and Fox, who pay in the region of $40 billion for rights to the 2023 season and beyond.

Other limitations, such as maintaining geographic blackouts for games and minimal international streaming rights, may also have put Apple off the deal.

While Apple is apparently no longer a frontrunner, the negotiations for the NFL Sunday Ticket will apparently continue into 2023. But with such an extended period for discussions, it's still entirely plausible for Apple to keep its hat in the ring despite the seemingly onerous terms.