The fight for DirecTV’s NFL “Sunday Ticket,” a sports staple of traditional television, was the most recent indication that expensive live and popular sports bundles are migrating to streaming services controlled by digital companies.
Sports, and especially the NFL, have traditionally been seen as the backbone of the conventional TV package. Sports channels, particularly those that broadcast live games, command some of the highest rates from pay TV providers and receive some of the best ratings. By broadcasting live games, the NFL earns significant revenue.
In this digital era, people crave the possibility of being able to stream exclusive content on their laptops and mobile devices wherever they go. Sports leagues are working ever more closely with digital businesses as consumers cut cables and as their current contracts with traditional cable providers expire. To attract more customers to their individual streaming platforms, which mostly offer on-demand material such as movies and TV series, those providers are eager for premium content like live sports, one of the most viewed telecasts.