Survey: Fans Hope YouTube or Amazon Win the NFL Sunday Ticket Bidding War

Arizona Cardinals San Francisco 49ers
(Image credit: NFL)

A new survey of NFL fans finds broad support for the NFL Sunday Ticket being offered by a major streaming service, with the largest number of fans hoping that either YouTube or Amazon will win the bidding war, according to a new survey of NFL fans by The Streamable. 

The Streamable discovered that nearly half of NFL fans definitely will or are likely to subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket if it is offered by a major streaming provider. This means Sunday Ticket’s winning bidder can potentially win big, especially if the price is right, the researchers said. 

The Streamable’s survey of 5,018 NFL fans found that 1,527 of these fans surveyed expressed a preference among the four major bidders: ESPN+, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube.

Nearly two-thirds of NFL fans said they are most likely to subscribe to Sunday Ticket if it lands on one of two platforms: YouTube (35% of fans) or Amazon Prime Video (29% of fans), the researchers reported. 

But fans also had misgivings about Apple TV+, which has been often cited as the frontrunner to win the bid. The survey found that more than twice as many fans prefer YouTube over Apple TV+ (122% more fans) and 80% more prefer Amazon Prime Video.

Amazon Prime Video had the fewest fans say they would be least likely to subscribe to Sunday Ticket on it (20% of fans), 32% fewer than Apple TV+, the report said. 

ESPN+ lagged behind YouTube and Amazon Prime Video as the most preferred service, but still beat out Apple TV+ in both the service fans would be most likely (20% of fans) and least likely (25% of fans) to subscribe to Sunday Ticket on, The Streamable reported. 

More than a third of NFL fans prefer YouTube (35% of fans), making it the most preferred service of the current bidders.

The Streamable

(Image credit: The Streamable)

In comparison to the other bidders, YouTube was selected as the service fans were most likely to subscribe to Sunday Ticket on by: 23% more fans than the runner-up, Amazon Prime Video; 73% more than the third-place ESPN+; and 122% more than the bottom-ranked Apple TV+.

The runner-up, Amazon Prime Video had more than a quarter of fans choose it as the service they would be most likely to subscribe to Sunday Ticket on. It also beat out the 3rd and 4th ranked services with 40% more fans than ESPN+ and 80% more fans than Apple TV+. 

In comparison to Amazon Prime Video, 50% more fans chose Apple TV+ as their least preferred service; 25% more fans chose ESPN+ as their least preferred service; and 20% more fans chose YouTube as their least preferred service, the researchers said 

Overall, The Streamable concluded that the increased accessibility of NFL Sunday Ticket on a streaming service could prove to be a major score for the winning bidder. 

But not all streaming services are created equal in that regard. While Apple TV+ may be in the best position to win NFL Sunday Ticket rights, fans’ reluctance to use the service could be a major hurdle, the researchers reported. 

“Few households are willing to pay for more than four streaming subscriptions,” the report said. “Those who don’t already have Apple TV+ might not want to pay for another service, especially since the Sunday Ticket package will be a premium price on top of the regular monthly fee. Although Apple TV+ is the last place fans may want to win Sunday Ticket, it highlights just how valuable winning this bid could be for the up-and-coming streaming service as it has the potential to drive new subscribers to their base plan. In the process, Apple TV+ has the opportunity to showcase its platform and content, working to make the streaming service a “default” option that users continue to use in the future.”

The full report is available here (opens in new tab)

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.