YouTube will be the home of NFL Sunday Ticket starting in 2023

YouTube is ready for some more football. The streaming service has snagged the rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket package, which offers access to out-of-market games that air on FOX and CBS each Sunday. DirecTV, the current home of Sunday Ticket, has held the rights since 1994, but the bundle will move to Google’s streaming service next season.

Apple and Amazon were also believed to be in talks for Sunday Ticket. Apple was reportedly the frontrunner at one point, but it’s said to have dropped out of the race last week, leaving Amazon and Google to duke it out.

Sunday Ticket will be available as an add-on for YouTube TV subscribers or as a standalone option on YouTube Primetime Channels, an à la carte service that debuted last month. YouTube hasn’t revealed how much it will charge for Sunday Ticket yet. Sunday Ticket plans for the 2022 season on DirecTV started at $294.

NFL 👏 Sunday 👏 Ticket 👏 is coming to YouTube Primetime Channels and @YouTubeTV in *2023*.

— YouTube (@YouTube) December 22, 2022

YouTube and the NFL didn’t announce the terms of the deal. According to The Wall Street Journal, YouTube will pay $2 billion per year in a seven-year pact. That’s around $500 million more per season that DirecTV is paying. However, DirecTV is believed to have between 1.5 million and 2 million Sunday Ticket subscribers, and it has been losing money on the package for years.

In a statement, the NFL said it and “YouTube will work together to determine additional ways to support distribution of NFL Sunday Ticket in commercial establishments such as bars and restaurants.” The Journal suggested that could lead to YouTube paying the league another $200 million per year.

The NFL and YouTube have been partners for several years, dating back to the debut of the league’s main channel on the platform in 2015. Two years ago, YouTube TV subscribers gained access to NFL Network and NFL RedZone. Those will stay on YouTube TV under the terms of the expanded pact. Additionally, the two sides will grant some YouTube creators access to certain NFL tentpole events for content opportunities.

The Sunday Ticket agreement is a major coup for Google. YouTube TV is already home to other sports networks, such as those from the NBA and MLB, but having exclusive rights to a bundle that offers many out-of-market NFL games is likely to draw more users to the streaming service. Amazon Prime Video has an 11-year deal to stream Thursday Night Football games that started this season. Apple is pushing further into live sports as well, with a 10-year deal to stream every Major League Soccer game via Apple TV starting in 2023.


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