The streaming wars have been everything they were advertised to be.
While the idea of cutting the cord was mooted over a decade ago, the process of consumers abandoning cable TV for a more personalized viewing experience really started to accelerate in 2015.
The change has turned the pay-TV model upside down, and a new generation of media companies is trying to snare potential viewers who have fallen out of the cable model.
But this is not an underdog story.
Upstart companies like Amazon Prime Video (AMZN) AppleTV+ (AAPL) and netflix (NFLX) They all have deep pockets. But they are still relatively new to a game that broadcast networks have been playing for decades.
When Australian Rupert Murdoch launched his fledgling FOX television network in the US in 1986, he knew he had an uphill battle to be considered in the same league as legacy mainstays like CBS. (PARACA) ABC (DIS) and NBC (CMCSA) .
FOX got its edge when it was able to secure the broadcast rights to the National Football League in 1993. The company began airing the game as a sideshow, packed with pregame, halftime and postgame programming that changed the reach of the game. of sports broadcasting. Always.
Three decades later, streamers are fighting for the chance to do what Fox did in the ’90s, and plan to use the NFL to do it.
NFL Sunday sells tickets
Whoever wins the bidding war for NFL Sunday Ticket, the NFL’s comprehensive streaming package that allows viewers to watch the league’s entire slate of out-of-market games every Sunday, will have a leg up on their competition, according to a new report. study.
Streamable.com surveyed 2,562 fans who regularly watch the NFL. The study found that 48% of NFL fans will “definitely or likely” subscribe to Sunday Ticket once it is offered by a major broadcast provider.
The winning bidder will pick up a large number of first-time subscribers, according to the study, with more than 40% of those who have never subscribed before saying they “definitely” would.
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However, most respondents also said they will need a price cut to consider the service. Only 26% of those surveyed said they were willing to pay the current base price of $300 per season.
A base price between $150 and $200 almost doubles the adoption rate according to the study.
Currently, 6% of fans are full price subscribers, between $300 and $400 per year, while 7% pay a DirecTV promotional price where Sunday Ticket is included.
Meanwhile, 75% of NFL fans never subscribed to the service, while nearly 13% previously had but canceled.
Until now Sunday Ticket has been a DirecTV exclusive. Which means that in order to get Sunday Ticket you had to change your cable provider to DirecTV.
The race for the NFL Sunday ticket
The NFL is looking for a buyer willing to pay more than $2 billion annually for the rights to Sunday Ticket, which is the package that features all of the league’s regional broadcasts on Sundays, according to CNBC.
“Clearly I think we’re going to be moving to a streaming service,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin in a recent interview. “I think that’s what’s best for consumers at this stage.”
Fans of out-of-market teams are 66% more likely to currently subscribe to Sunday Ticket than fans of in-market teams, and nearly three times more likely to “definitely” subscribe to the service, according to Streamable’s survey .
DirecTV has been paying $1.5 billion annually for broadcast rights. An imminent deal is not expected, according to the report, as DirecTV still holds the rights to Sunday Ticket for the upcoming 2022 season.
NFL fans would have to subscribe to DirecTV to get access to Sunday Ticket, and that requirement will not be present in the new deal, CNBC reported.
Satellite TV provider DirecTV, now owned by AT&T (T) it has been the home of NFL Sunday Ticket since the service launched, and in 2014 it renewed its offerings through this season.