In a huge shakeup for sports streaming, the NFL Sunday Ticket is officially headed to YouTube and YouTube TV starting with the 2023 NFL season. It’ll no longer be available from DirecTV, which has offered the package since 1994.
After months of negotiations, we learned earlier this week that Google’s YouTube and streaming service YouTube TV were the front-runners. Now, less than 24 hours later, it’s official.
Starting with the 2023-2024 season next year, the NFL Sunday Ticket will be available for YouTube TV subscribers or a la carte on regular old YouTube. Google recently launched “YouTube Primetime Channels” as add-ons for EPIX, Paramount+, and other big channels, and now it’ll be adding the NFL Sunday ticket to its list.
Essentially, any of the over 5 million YouTube TV subscribers and Google’s 2 billion monthly users on YouTube can pay to add on the coveted NFL Sunday Ticket. Then, stream NFL games of all their favorite teams.
With the Sunday Ticket, fans can watch every Sunday afternoon game, regardless of the channel or region. This includes pre-season and the playoffs. It’s the easiest (and only) way to ensure you never miss a game. I use it to watch my Packers from Las Vegas.
Reports suggest Google is paying upwards of $2 billion per year for exclusive rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket, but that’s yet to be confirmed. As a comparison, DirecTV paid roughly $1.5 billion and charged its users $300 per season for the Sunday Ticket.
However, considering DirecTV only had around 2 million people using the NFL Ticket, it lost millions of dollars yearly. We’re not sure how much Google will charge to add the NFL Sunday Ticket to YouTube TV or YouTube, but I’m hoping ad revenue will keep the cost lower than what DirecTV charged.
Google is now in a position to not only attract new customers to its TV streaming service, but this move could boost YouTube users, increase revenue, and cement it as the go-to service for sports streaming in the years ahead.
For now, we’re not sure how much Google will charge for the NFL Sunday Ticket, the NFL RedZone bundle, or how it’ll sit beside the current YouTube TV Sports Plus add-on. We’ll know more ahead of the 2023 NFL season.