The NFL’s coveted Sunday Ticket package has a home in streaming for the first time.
Google and the NFL reached an exclusive multiyear deal to bring all out-of-market Sunday afternoon NFL games broadcast on Fox and CBS to YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels, beginning in 2023.
The subscription-only Sunday Ticket package has been with DirecTV since 1994, paying the NFL around $1.5 billion per year for the rights.
With the expiration of the DirecTV agreement at the end of the 2022 season, YouTube is paying north of $2 billion per season in a seven-year deal, according to a person familiar with the matter
Sunday Ticket will be available on YouTube TV—Google’s virtual MVPD—as well as on its Primetime Channels service. That offering allows users to subscribe to individual channels as a standalone option, similar to NBA League Pass, without requiring a YouTube TV subscription. Previously, consumers were not able to receive Sunday Ticket without subscribing to a broader DirecTV package.
The NFL will still sell commercial rights for venues like bars and restaurants to broadcast the Sunday Ticket games, and is in the middle of a competitive process negotiating those rights. Depending on where those negotiations land, the NFL could receive up to $2.5 billion annual for the Sunday Ticket 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,” said Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, in a statement. “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.”
The cost for Sunday Ticket on YouTube hasn’t yet been announced. DirecTV charged $294 per season for the basic package, and $396 per season for the package that includes Red Zone and a channel focused on fantasy football.
YouTube TV has around 5 million subscribers, a dip from the 13.5 million that subscribed to DirecTV. But with the addition of Primetime Channels, there’s the opportunity to further expand reach away from traditional cable and satellite offerings.
In 2020, the NFL and YouTube TV struck a carriage agreement that brought NFL Network and NFL Redzone to YouTube TV subscribers. With the new deal, that agreement has also been extended.