By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, I called the DIRECTV customer service department and they said you can still watch the Sunday Ticket on the DIRECTV receiver. Are they lying? I know YouTube has the Sunday Ticket now so what’s the deal? Can you still get the Sunday Ticket on DIRECTV? — Erica, Pueblo, Colorado. 

Erica, as you know, Google last December captured the rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket starting with the 2023 season. The company will offer the Ticket’s Sunday afternoon out-of-market games on YouTube TV and YouTube. (See this article on Google’s new Ticket pricing.)

However, although DIRECTV lost the Ticket’s rights, both DIRECTV and DIRECTV Stream subscribers can still watch the Ticket using their receivers.

How is that possible?

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DIRECTV’s new Gemini set-top comes with the YouTube app pre-loaded. The wireless box allows customers to watch all their satellite programming and apps such as Netflix, Amazon’s Prime Video and YouTube without getting a similar device such as Roku or Fire TV.

Google is making the Ticket available on YouTube TV as an add-on package, but it can be purchased separately on YouTube’s Primetime Channels page. So if you’re a DIRECTV subscriber and have the Gemini set-top connected to the Internet, you can watch the Sunday Ticket on YouTube Primetime Channels using your DIRECTV receiver. (Note that while the Gemini is provided for free, there’s a $15 a month advanced receiver fee for both satellite and Internet customers who get one. See this page for more details.)

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DIRECTV Stream subscribers can also access the YouTube app on either the legacy AT&T set-top or the new Gemini box.

To reiterate, you will need to connect the DIRECTV Gemini box to the Internet to watch the Ticket. (You won’t be able to use the satellite portion of the DIRECTV receiver to get the Ticket.) But the customer service person was correct that you can use your DIRECTV receiver to watch the Ticket.

Erica, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann