The National Football League announced this morning that it has signed a multi-year agreement with Google that will allow YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels to exclusively carry the NFL Sunday Ticket starting with the 2023 season.
The league said the Sunday Ticket will be available as an add-on package on YouTube TV and a standalone a-la-carte plan on YouTube Primetime Channels. Pricing was not announced.
The addition of the Sunday Ticket could help YouTube TV dominate the still fledgling live streaming category. The service now has around 5 million subscribers, more than any other live streamer.
Google defeated fellow streaming services Apple, Amazon and Disney (ESPN+) to get the Ticket deal. But the victory is also one for the streaming industry which can now boast carrying the most popular sports package in the nation after DIRECTV had it exclusively for 28 years.
“We’re excited to bring NFL Sunday Ticket to YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels and usher in a new era of how fans across the United States watch and follow the NFL,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “For a number of years, we have been focused on increased digital distribution of our games and this partnership is yet another example of us looking towards the future and building the next generation of NFL fans.”
“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. “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 NFL Sunday Ticket includes all out-of-market regular season Sunday afternoon games broadcast by Fox and CBS. Today’s press release said updated NFL Sunday Ticket product features and functionality will be announced ahead of the 2023 NFL season.
The league said it would work with YouTube to “to determine additional ways to support distribution of NFL Sunday Ticket in commercial establishments such as bars and restaurants.”
DIRECTV has signaled that it would like to continue selling the Ticket to commercial businesses. But it’s unclear if that will happen under the new arrangement.
Update: The Washington Post’s Mark Maske tweeted this morning that the NFL is retaining the commercial side of the Ticket, which could enable DIRECTV to continue serving bars and restaurants.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report (Tuesday night) that Google was close to securing the Ticket contract.
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