The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Flint and Miles Kruppa report tonight that the National Football League is in “advanced talks” to give Google the Sunday Ticket contract starting with the 2023 season. (DIRECTV, which has held the exclusive rights to the Ticket for 28 years, has said it would not bid to retain them.)
Flint writes that a deal with Google could be announced as early as Wednesday following a meeting of NFL owners who must approve such agreements.
The decision would allow Google to include the Sunday Ticket with its YouTube TV plan. However, like DIRECTV, YouTube TV would have to charge a premium price for the package of out-of-market games in addition to its base package ($64.99 a month) of basic cable channels. DIRECTV now charges a minimum of $293 for an entire season of the Ticket which can be added to the satcaster’s programming plans.
With the Sunday Ticket, YouTube TV could become the dominant player in the live streaming category. The service already has around five million subscribers, slightly more than its top rival, Hulu Live.
Google could also offer the Ticket as a subscription service on YouTube, its video sharing service.
“Under the scenario being discussed, NFL games would be available to be streamed on two subscription services, YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels, next season. Google is a unit of Alphabet Inc.,” writes WSJ.
The NFL’s search for a new Sunday Ticket partner has gone on for at least two years with Apple once seen as a front-runner if not an inevitable choice. However, The Puck reported last week that Apple had withdrawn from the negotiations over price and terms, leaving Amazon and Google as the main competitors.
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— Phillip Swann