TV Answer Man, so what happens with the Sunday Ticket in the bars when YouTube TV gets it? They can’t possibly stream all those games at the same time without busting a cork. Am I right? — Eddie, Scranton, Pennsylvania. 

Eddie, I’m not positive what ‘busting a cork’ means, but it doesn’t sound good. I suspect what you are saying is that any attempt to stream several Sunday Ticket games at the same time in one bar could lead to a technical meltdown and a customer one, too. If that’s what you’re saying, I agree.

Fortunately, the National Football League seems to agree, too. The league held back the commercial side of the Ticket in its new contract with Google (and YouTube) to take over the Sunday Ticket rights starting with the 2023 season. The NFL hopes to sell the commercial Ticket business (bars and restaurants primarily) for as much as $300 million a year, which would give the league a cool $2.5 billion in Ticket revenue per year. (Google is paying around $2.2 billion a year, according to several news reports.)

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DIRECTV, which has provided the Ticket to bars and restaurants for years, is the logical and likely winner here. However, note that Dish and Cox (and other TV providers) also have commercial business units and they could be interested in bidding as well. (Dish and Cox, and DIRECTV, now provide Amazon’s stream of its Thursday Night Football games to commercial venues.)

It’s even possible that a streaming company might bid, but that seems unlikely. As you suggest, live streaming is still a work in progress and a bar or restaurant could indeed bust a cork trying to stream eight games at the same time over its Internet system. Not to mention, live sports streaming is often delayed by as much as a minute, which could be an issue with bargoers, particularly those betting on games and/or using social media.

My guess is that DIRECTV will continue to offer the Ticket to the business folks, ensuring all corks go unbusted.

Hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann