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Disney CEO Bob Chapek Confirms NFL Sunday Ticket Bid

”We’re bidding for it,“ Chapek tells CNBC’s Julia Boorstin

Disney CEO Bob Chapek confirmed the company is in the running to get the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket, the league’s subscription package that allows fans to watch out-of-market games.

“We’re bidding for it,” Chapek said in a point-blank response to CNBC’s Julia Boorstin in an interview that aired shortly after Disney released its quarterly earnings on Wednesday.

The NFL’s current deal for NFL Sunday Ticket with DirecTV expires after the 2022 season, and it is widely expected that DirecTV will not renew. If it were to win the rights, Disney would likely make NFL Sunday Ticket available in some fashion on ESPN+, which now has more than 21 million subscribers as of Jan. 1, 2022.

An individual familiar with the NFL’s negotiations told TheWrap last summer the league has gotten more interest for Sunday Ticket than it did for its recent media rights, and expects a “healthy” increase on the price tag. The interested parties include both traditional and digital players.

The NFL got a steep increase with its new 11-year TV deals that will run from 2023 through the 2033 season: The current deals put $27 billion in the league’s bank account.

DirecTV pays the NFL around $1.5 billion a year to offer Sunday Ticket exclusively, which allows fans to watch every Sunday afternoon out-of-market game. To put that in perspective: Amazon alone will pay the NFL $1 billion annually to grab the single “Thursday Night Football” game for itself, which begins next season.

Disney in its Q1 earnings for the 2022 fiscal year smashed expectations from Wall Street in both its earnings and revenues, and as a result the Mouse House’s stock price has jumped in after-hours trading.