By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, do you know if there will be a free trial on the NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV? DIRECTV always had one and I think the streaming plan did, too. What are you hearing? — Caleb, New Orleans.

Caleb, you’re right. DIRECTV annually offered the first week of the NFL Sunday Ticket for free to all satellite customers. In addition, the streaming version of the Sunday Ticket included a seven-day free trial which could be used once at any time during the season. The satcaster believed the free trial was a helpful retention tool as well as a device to encourage more people to subscribe.

But DIRECTV has lost the Sunday Ticket rights to Google, which will offer the package of out-of-market games as an add-on to YouTube TV’s base plan and as a separate service on YouTube Primetime Channels. (See this article for pricing details.)

So will Google offer a free trial as DIRECTV did?

Answer: No.

While YouTube TV offers free trials of varying lengths, this will not apply to the Sunday Ticket. The YouTube TV web site says this in the terms of agreement for subscribing to the Ticket:

“This membership does not include a free trial and is non-refundable.”

As I’ve noted here before, Google paid $1 billion a year more for the rights than DIRECTV paid. The company needs every sub it can get and it would appear it believes a free trial would not help. (There will be no free trial for either YouTube TV or YouTube Primetime Channels.)

It’s always possible that Google will soften this position as we get closer to the regular season. But for now, no free trial. No refunds.

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

Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at Please include your first name and hometown in your message.

— Phillip Swann