What's holding up Apple's Sunday Ticket football deal?

What looked like a done deal has taken so long to close that Google and others have joined the fray.

From Tripp Mickle, Benjamin Mullin and Kevin Draper's "Why the N.F.L.’s Big Streaming Deal Is Going Into Overtime" in Thursday's New York Times:

The Sunday Ticket negotiations have been closely watched by analysts and executives. Live sports, particularly N.F.L. games, are one of the last remaining staples of traditional television. Who the winning bidder is, how much it pays and how the deal is structured will have seismic implications for the sports, media and technology industries.

Bidding for Sunday Ticket’s valuable package of games could set a precedent for how much tech firms like Apple and Google are willing to pay to take viewers from traditional TV companies, which still rely on cable subscription fees and advertising to stay afloat...

The competitive landscape for Sunday Ticket has shifted as the talks have dragged on, the people familiar with the talks said. Sports and media executives have long considered Apple to be the front-runner, with some involved in the bidding process saying they thought the tech giant had reached an agreement...

One media executive who has negotiated with both Apple and the N.F.L. cited another reason for the monthslong impasse: Both sides are used to getting their way in negotiations.

My take: How many times have we heard that Apple's negotiating style has got in the way of negotiations?


  1. Jerry Doyle said:
    Is this Eddy Cue spearheading this negotiations effort? I love to see Apple get the football deal, but only if doing so helps significantly the bottom line. I sometime am concern that Apple could become overexposed.

    November 24, 2022
  2. Gregg Thurman said:
    How many times have we heard that Apple’s negotiating style has got in the way of negotiations?

    Is that a bad thing? Apple is renowned for acquiring firms important to its future long before others see their value, and getting them at a good price. It all comes down to saying “no”, when others would have moved forward. Where are those forward movers today?

    Eddy Cue is crucial to Apple’s acquisition strategy. I think criticism of him comes down to people disappointed in Apple not concluding their favorite acquisition idea. Obviously Apple’s senior management is happy with his performance, and looking at Apple’s growth trajectory, I think that speaks volumes about his effectiveness.

    November 24, 2022
    • John Blackburn said:
      We don’t know the particulars, but generally speaking, saying “no” definitely gets in the way of negotiations.

      November 24, 2022
    • S Lawton said:
      “It all comes down to saying “no”, when others would have moved forward. ” Yup. Hollywood said no to Eddie for many, many years and that is why Apple was late to the party. They learned from the publishers he pushed to move forward.

      November 24, 2022
  3. Michael Goldfeder said:
    Apple is not making any purchases that aren’t first approved by a substantial majority of the knowledgeable subscribers to the Apple 3.0 Platform. My calculus has more negative impressions from this site regarding the NFL deal at such a monstrous sum. Therefore, it isn’t getting done.

    November 24, 2022
  4. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    A different kind of football.
    And then you get something like this rumour from the UK’s Daily Star :

    “Apple interested in buying Man Utd and making Red Devils richest club in world”

    ‘ EXCLUSIVE Manchester United could have significantly more funds at their disposal than both Manchester City and Newcastle should technology giant Apple complete a blockbuster takeover ‘

    ByJeremy Cross, Daily Star Chief Sports Writer
    10:00, 24 NOV 2022 | UPDATED14:05, 24 NOV 2022

    November 24, 2022
    • Michael Goldfeder said:
      @Romeo: I saw that posted on another investor site this morning.

      I cannot take credit for this comment as I thought it was genius and I’m still laughing at the content posted by this individual. He said: “If Apple does purchase Manchester United, their very first move should be to bring in Ted Lasso as the coach!”

      November 24, 2022
  5. S Lawton said:
    Joe (and everyone else) Happy Thanksgiving to you as well. By the way, if you like the Great British Bakeoff, you may like The Great British Menu.

    November 24, 2022
  6. There’s never been the slightest disagreement between me and all the various apiaries I’ve served with my bee evangelist work. They always provide me with healthy queens, fresh pollen and honey pulled from hives only days before, at the best prices. The bees need me and I need them so why argue?
    My negotiations with farmers that operate various markets in the warm months tell a vastly different story. We never do stop trying to come to better terms, over all these years. It must be said my bees are much more difficult to negotiate with when it comes to taking their honey. It’s stressful but that’s the livestock business.

    November 25, 2022

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