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The NFL’s Future in a Crumbling Television Ecosystem


As the linear television ecosystem crumbles, the National Football League (NFL) is faced with the challenge of ensuring it has ample viewers in the future. Needham analyst Laura Martin proposes a bold move that could secure the league’s viewership – the acquisition of ABC from Walt Disney Co.

In her analysis, Martin highlights the dire state of the linear TV ecosystem, with its once-powerful economics now at risk. The NFL, along with other sports leagues, stands by and watches as this destruction unfolds. Martin criticizes the league, stating that they are “fiddling while Rome burns.”

While NFL executives may currently believe they have a secure viewership situation due to their contractual relationships over the next nine years, Martin warns that the bankruptcy of Diamond Sports Corp serves as a cautionary tale. Major League Baseball faced challenges as a result of this bankruptcy, and the NFL should take note.

Despite these uncertainties, there are optimists who believe in Disney’s ability to navigate these linear challenges. A new bull argues that Disney’s stock is still worth buying. The future may seem uncertain for the linear TV industry, but there are opportunities for growth and success.

The Future of NFL Rights: A Single Bidder Dilemma

As the NFL looks ahead to 2032, there are growing concerns about the bidding process for its broadcasting rights. One expert, in particular, questions the robustness of the competition in the face of potential monopolization. Could Inc. be the sole bidder? This begs the question, why? It all comes down to the strategies outlined by other major players in the entertainment industry.

Disney, for instance, has laid out an extensive 10-year plan for substantial investments in its theme parks. With these resources allocated, their ability to be a strong contender in the bidding war is called into question. On the other hand, Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery are deemed under-equipped and over-leveraged to outbid Amazon.

While the idea of a single bidder may initially seem advantageous, one expert believes it could be detrimental to the content-creator economics. Julie Martin, a respected analyst, points out that a lone distributor often has many incentives to submit a low bid. Taking it a step further, Martin suggests that Amazon’s Prime Video would not be an ideal buyer for NFL rights. The platform primarily caters to affluent households in the US with a median income exceeding $75,000. So, not only would Amazon’s reach be limited, but it may not cater to a wide-ranging audience.

Martin argues that the NFL should aim to reach all viewers and avoid being “held hostage” by a single distributor in the future. To achieve this, she proposes that the NFL acquire ABC from Disney or CBS from Paramount. By doing so, the NFL could secure access to 100% of US households in the long run.

Ultimately, as Martin emphasizes, content without adequate distribution loses its value, regardless of its quality. The NFL must carefully consider its options to ensure its broadcasts reach a diverse and extensive audience.


In the world of business and entertainment, the hypothetical scenario of Apple buying Disney has captured the curiosity and imagination of many. Could these two technological giants truly be “worth more together”?

The Analyst’s Perspective

According to an insightful analysis by an industry expert, the potential merger between Apple and Disney holds great promise. Let’s explore the reasons behind this assertion.

1. Synergistic Advantages

Combining Apple’s technological expertise with Disney’s creative content could result in an unbeatable synergy. The integration of cutting-edge technology with beloved characters and stories would likely have a profound impact on both industries.

2. Expansion Opportunities

A partnership between Apple and Disney would open up countless opportunities for expansion. With their combined resources and reach, they could dominate various sectors, including streaming services, theme parks, and content production.

3. Diversification of Revenue Streams

By joining forces, Apple and Disney would significantly diversify their revenue streams. This would mitigate potential risks and offer stability in an ever-evolving market.

4. Brand Power

Both Apple and Disney are renowned for their strong brands and loyal customer base. Merging these iconic names would create a powerhouse that could easily captivate consumers worldwide.


Although purely speculative at this point, the notion of Apple acquiring Disney presents an intriguing possibility. The potential benefits outlined above demonstrate how these two entities could thrive together, paving the way for a fascinating future in the realms of technology and entertainment.

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