NFL fans, don’t hold your breath. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told CNBC that the league will select the streaming service that will handle the NFL Sunday Ticket this fall. So unless this is just a distraction technique don’t expect to see any announcements this summer.
The race is believed to be between Amazon, Apple, and Disney. While the early buzz was around Apple, Amazon and Disney have become a major part of the conversation since their bids for the service surfaced (say that 3 times fast) in June.
There is reason to believe that Apple is actually the least likely to get the contract based on the already huge user base of Amazon and Disney’s long-existing relationships with the NFL. Amazon Web Services is the gold standard for cloud services in the industry. It is probably ready to handle the additional stress that would come with the addition of the streaming of out of market NFL games. The Amazon Video app has also demonstrated the ability to handle all manner of live sports without serious problems over the past 4 years.
Disney with Hulu, and ESPN+ has two existing apps that could easily and logically integrate the NFL service into its existing structure and a relationship with the NFL that goes all the way back to the launch of Monday Night Football. It also has the ability to scale up incredibly fast. Besides ESPN being the most recognized brand in sports Disney having multiple TV networks and streaming properties means has the marketing power to get the word out about a service like nothing else. ESPN can simply run it along their ticker across all of its networks Get Sunday Ticket Today! Hulu can run in house commercials to all of its millions of subscribers. When Disney+ was ready to launch there was a very successful company-wide blitz. If the company is chosen the NFL and fans can expect the same.