Roger Goodell, the National Football League’s commissioner, flew to Sun Valley, Idaho, this summer for Allen Company’s annual media conference, confident that the N.F.L. was close to announcing its latest blockbuster TV rights deal.
“We will probably have some decision by the fall,” he told CNBC at the time.
But nearly five months later, the league is still looking for a technology or media company willing to replace DirecTV as the rights holder for Sunday Ticket, which allows fans to watch every N.F.L. game, not just those broadcast in their region. The negotiations are now expected to extend into next year, according to five people familiar with the talks.
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.