Sunday Ticket from the NFL will now be on YouTube.
Google and the NFL announced a deal Thursday that will make YouTube the only place to watch Sunday Ticket games outside the local market starting with the 2023 season. DirecTV will no longer run Sunday Ticket after 28 years. Sunday Ticket is for people who watch a lot of football and bet on it. During the regular season, it lets you watch every NFL game on CBS and Fox on Sundays (subject to local-market blackouts).
Under the terms of the seven-year deal, NFL Sunday Ticket will be available as an add-on package on YouTube TV and as a stand-alone, à-la-carte service on YouTube’s newly launched Primetime Channels, which don’t require a YouTube TV subscription. During the 2018-2019 football season, both services will be available. YouTube didn’t say what the price of a Sunday Ticket would be. For the 2022 season, Sunday Ticket plans from DirecTV started at $293.94.
The terms of the deal were kept private. The Wall Street Journal said that YouTube would pay an average of $2 billion per year for Sunday Ticket, and if it did well, there could be more fees. The New York Times said the deal would be worth $2.5 billion yearly. Either way, that’s more than what DirecTV is said to have paid annually for the right to show Sunday Ticket. Industry estimates show that between 1.5 million and 2 million people have signed up for the package from the satellite TV provider.
The NFL and YouTube said they would work together to find more ways to help get NFL into places like bars and restaurants. According to a report in the Journal, that could mean that Google gives them an extra $200 million.
YouTube TV could get more customers with Sunday Ticket, but they won’t have to pay the $64.99/month fee to get it. Google said that the internet pay-TV service had more than 5 million users this summer, including people who tried it out for free.
Apple, Amazon, and ESPN were also said to have been in talks with the NFL before YouTube TV won the contract.
What is Sunday Ticket?
Sunday Ticket was the only NFL media right that had not yet been locked up for the next ten years. Last year, the NFL made big deals with Disney, Fox, Paramount Global, NBCUniversal, and Amazon, keeping most of its games with traditional media companies until 2033. As a result, “Thursday Night Football” will only be available through Amazon’s Prime Video service.
Google has been working with the NFL since 2015 when the NFL’s official YouTube channel went live. YouTube TV came out in 2017. Before the 2020 NFL season, YouTube TV signed a carriage agreement to add NFL Network to its base channel lineup and to offer NFL RedZone as part of its $10.99/month Sports Plus add-on.
As part of their new deal, YouTube and the NFL will give some YouTube creators “exclusive access to official content and opportunities to attend” “key NFL tentpole events.”
Back Together will also have YouTube as its main sponsor. The NFL’s training camp officially starts on Saturday. There will be practices and events for fans for all 32 teams. This is part of NFL Kickoff Weekend, which starts on Thursday night when the season starts and goes through Monday night when the last game is played.
If Sunday Ticket moved from DirecTV to YouTube TV, it would show that streaming services are replacing traditional TV. In August of 2021, AT&T sold DirecTV to TPG Capital. Since then, DirecTV and the rest of the pay-TV industry have been losing customers, so the satellite and streaming provider decided not to renew the Sunday Ticket deal. Nevertheless, between 1.5 and 2 million people get their Sunday tickets from DirecTV. For the 2022 season, DirecTV’s prices for Sunday tickets started at $293.94.
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Sunday Ticket could bring a lot of new people to YouTube TV. Google said more than 5 million people used YouTube TV this summer, including people who used it for free. This makes it the biggest internet TV service in the U.S.
Since it started on DirecTV in 1994, Sunday Ticket has been the only legal way to watch all NFL games on Sundays during the regular season.
Sunday Ticket is the only piece of the NFL’s media rights that hasn’t been locked down for the next ten years. Last year, the NFL made large deals with Disney, Fox, Paramount Global, NBCUniversal, and Amazon. As a result, most NFL games will stay with traditional media companies until 2033 because of these deals.