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 However, The Puck reported last week that Apple had withdrawn from the negotiations over price and terms, leaving Amazon and Google as the main competitors.
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Terrible news for the millions of DTV Satellite Subscribers including me. DTV was typically flawless in execution and some long time subscribers got it for free from time to time. Streaming is not nearly as reliable as Sat and interface is sloppy.
Not what anyone expected, right? And very disheartening. It appears from the WSJ article YouTube will require subscriptions to one of its TV streaming platforms in order to access Sunday Ticket, and not offer it on an a la carte basis. Seems like that’s asking a lot of long-time DirecTV subscribers. I’ll have to see what the terms are, but I just wish they had reached a deal with Amazon. Would have been better for almost everyone.
The NFL is choosing to leave rural viewers without fiber out in the cold. It seems the league could have worked out a deal to allow Direct TV to continue providing this service.
I have Direct TV and my interest in the NFL will take a downturn when I limited to 2-3 Sunday games picked by the networks because I rarely watch those games.
This season I have seen the future with the Thursday night game moved to Amazon. Despite the fact I have prime I do not enjoy watching streaming and watch the game (if interested) on NFL Network.
This is a bad decision by the NFL.
I am a diehard fb fan. I have Prime, but haven’t watched a Thursday nite game yet.