TV Answer Man, now that YouTube TV will have the Sunday Ticket, what will they do with the RedZone Channel? Will they keep it in Sports Plus? I hope so because I want to watch the RedZone Channel and not subscribe to the Sunday Ticket. I hope they don’t make you get the Sunday Ticket to get the RedZone!! — Marcus, Akron, Ohio. 

Marcus, that’s a great question. As you may know, DIRECTV has included its version of the RedZone Channel with its Sunday Ticket Max plan. The satcaster does not sell it separately so that has meant that you needed to pay $395 a year to subscribe to the Max package if you wanted to watch the RedZone Channel.

YouTube TV, which will take over the Sunday Ticket rights starting with the 2023 season, has included the second version of the RedZone, called NFL RedZone, in its $10.99 a month add-on plan, called Sports Plus. (The DIRECTV version of the RedZone is expected to end once the satcaster turns over the Ticket rights after this season.)

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But will YouTube TV follow DIRECTV’s lead and also force subscribers to get the Sunday Ticket to get the RedZone channel? One YouTube TV subscriber this week asked the live streaming service via Twitter that very question and here was the response:

“We don’t have more info at this time but our agreement does include distribution rights for NFL RedZone. we’ll share an update soon!” tweeted @TeamYouTube.

As part of the Sunday Ticket deal, YouTube TV, owned by Google, extended its carriage agreement to carry the NFL RedZone channel. But it would appear the live streamer isn’t ready to say how it will be offered to subscribers starting next year.

The company’s hesitance to reveal those plans now is understandable because it’s an important decision that might require some time and analysis before implementation. There is a clear advantage in bundling the RedZone with the Ticket and removing it from the Sports Plus package. If the RedZone is not available in Sports Plus, more subscribers might order the Ticket. But if it stays in the add-on plan, more might not get the Tickdet because they will be content to just watch the RedZone channel.

However, since the RedZone channel has been available in Sports Plus, its removal might trigger a strong negative response from subscribers because it will look like Google is being heavy-handed in forcing people to subscribe to the Ticket.

The TV Answer Man will monitor this situation and report back here if anything significant changes. Until then, happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann