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YouTube TV, NFL Sunday Ticket Deal is Best Channel-Flipping Option for Cord-Cutting Fans

Matt Tamanini

If there is one thing that sports fans all have in common, no matter what their favorite teams are, or what specific sports they follow, it is that if there are multiple games on, they want to be parked in front of the TV, remote in hand, flipping back and forth between channels, attempting to master the art of maximizing the number of plays that they can be witnessed in any given amount of time. It’s an art, really, to be able to know the rhythms and cadences of games, replay reviews, and commercials, and to be able to bounce between multiple matchups, never missing a single snap, pitch, shot, or save.

However, that specific skill has been besieged by sudden atrophy for sports fans who have cut the cord and been forced to rely on different streaming services to watch games. With some contests exclusively airing on subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platforms with others are available on live TV streaming services, navigating between all of the sports happening at once has become incredibly cumbersome. Being forced to leave one app in order to check in on a game that is on another service is not only a hassle, but it takes much more time than a seasoned channel surfer is usually comfortable with.

But there is good news for the fast-fingered flippers out there. Now that the NFL Sunday Ticket is officially heading to live TV streamer YouTube TV in 2023, thanks to Thursday's announcement of the seven-year, $2 billion+ deal, football fans will finally have a streaming option to watch all NFL games from a single interface. Sunday Ticket provides access to all of the league’s out-of-market games that aren’t airing in a viewer’s specific region. So, when paired with YouTube TV’s traditional linear service, streamers will have the ability to flip between the game airing on their local CBS or FOX affiliate while also checking out other games airing in different markets across the country without having to exit the app they’re watching in.

If Sunday Ticket had ended up on Apple TV+ or Prime Video — as had long been assumed — viewers would have had to toggle between the Sunday Ticket streamer and their linear provider in order to be able to keep up with all of the games; obviously doable, but in no way ideal. However, now that YouTube TV has the out-of-market package, a single Sunday afternoon’s slate of games can be easily and quickly accessed in one convenient interface.

Of course, sports fans don’t have to subscribe to YouTube’s live TV option in order to have access to the Sunday Ticket, as — for the first time ever — they will be able to signup for the football package as a standalone option. Since 1995, the package has almost exclusively lived on DIRECTV and the satellite service has required customers to signup for a base package to get Sunday Ticket. That will no longer be the case as YouTube TV will make the games available through its Primetime Channels store, a hub that also allows customers to subscribe to premium streamers in one convenient location.

That being typed, no matter how you sign up for Sunday Ticket, you will never be able to watch all of the NFL games on YouTube TV, because there are games that are exclusive to other streamers. This fall, Prime Video became the exclusive broadcaster of “Thursday Night Football,” and ESPN+ had its first streaming exclusive game as well. So the downside is that if you want to stream every NFL game, you will need to sign up for at least those two other services; but the good news is that neither “TNF” or ESPN+’s game air opposite any other NFL contests, so you won’t have to worry about the dreaded inter-app flipping.

YouTube TV

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.

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