Official: NFL Sunday Ticket Will Head to YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels Beginning with 2023 Season
The announcement that football fans have been waiting months for has finally arrived. After reports broke on Tuesday night, the NFL has made it official that its out-of-market package NFL Sunday Ticket will land on Google’s live TV streaming service YouTube TV beginning next fall with the start of the 2023 football season. The package has been carried by DIRECTV since its inaugural season in 1994, but the league’s deal with the satellite provider ends following the current regular season, and DIRECTV was never an active participant in attempting to keep the commercial rights moving forward.
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal's Joe Flint, the deal will run for seven years and cost Google approximately $2 billion each season. That represents a $500 million annual increase over the previous deal with DIRECTV. The WSJ also reports that it will look to find a partner for the commercial rights for bars and restaurants in a deal aimed at $200 million per season. DIRECTV is believed to be interested in retaining those rights.
As The Streamable had theorized earlier in the week, Google will make Sunday Ticket available to YouTube TV subscribers as an add-on — similar to how DIRECTV operated the package — but that it would also now be available to streamers via YouTube TV Primetime Channels, meaning that consumers can subscribe to a standalone Sunday Ticket for the first time.
The league has said that other new features and functionalities for the package will be announced as the 2023 season approaches. There was no announcement as to what YouTube TV will charge for Sunday Ticket, but the contractual requirement with FOX and CBS — the channels that air the games that the out-of-market package is comprised of — requires it to be set at a “premium” price.
“We’re excited to bring NFL Sunday Ticket to YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels and usher in a new era of how fans across the United States watch and follow the NFL,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “For a number of years we have been focused on increased digital distribution of our games and this partnership is yet another example of us looking towards the future and building the next generation of NFL fans.”
For much of 2022, Apple and Amazon were seen as the leaders to land the coveted live sports package, and as early as April, many in the industry believed that a deal to bring Sunday Ticket to Apple TV+ had essentially already been done. However, as the months dragged on without an announcement, Google reportedly entered the mix over the summer, and then as reports of stumbling blocks between the NFL and Apple began to circulate, Youtube TV quickly emerged as a somewhat surprising legitimate contender to take the out-of-market package rights.
“YouTube has long been a home for football fans, whether they’re streaming live games, keeping up with their home team, or watching the best plays in highlights,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said. “Through this expanded partnership with the NFL, viewers will now also be able to experience the game they love in compelling and innovative ways through YouTube TV or YouTube Primetime Channels. We’re excited to continue our work with the NFL to make YouTube a great place for sports lovers everywhere.
This fall, The Streamable conducted a survey of 5,018 NFL fans, which showed that 35% said that YouTube was their preferred destination for NFL Sunday Ticket. In fact, more than twice as many fans preferred YouTube over Apple TV+ (16%) as the new streaming home for NFL Sunday Ticket.
YouTube TV is a live TV streaming service with more than 60 channels for $72.99/month. This plan includes local channels, 32 of the top 35 cable channels, and regional sports networks (RSNs) in select markets. The service includes an unlimited DVR.
With the recent addition of Viacom channels (BET, MTV, Comedy Central, etc.) to the service, they are only without Hallmark and A+E Networks (Lifetime, History, A&E).
They recently added NFL Network and new Sports Plus add-on which include channels like NFL RedZone for $11 a month.
YouTube TV offers select 4K content, including some live sports and on-demand shows, as part of their 4K Plus add-on. The 4K Plus add-on is $9.99 a month and also includes offline downloads and unlimited streams on your home network.
If you want a cheaper service with many of the entertainment channels on YouTube TV, you can subscribe to Philo which includes A+E, Discovery, Viacom, Hallmark, and other channels for just $20 a month after a 7-Day Free Trial.