By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, I am a longtime NFL Sunday Ticket subscriber on DIRECTV. Can you tell me if there’s anything that YouTube TV’s Sunday Ticket won’t have that DIRECTV had if I switch over? — George, Atlanta.
George, that’s a great question. Google’s YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels will host the NFL Sunday Ticket starting this season after it was a DIRECTV exclusive for 28 years. I think you’ll find that the YouTube Ticket will feel and look very similar to what you experienced with the satellite TV service. Both YouTube services will have the same Sunday afternoon games as DIRECTV and the same features such as multiple games on a single screen, interactive stats and a fantasy football focus.
But there are several significant differences in how the Ticket will be sold and marketed:
No free trials
DIRECTV allowed all subscribers to watch the first week of the NFL Sunday Ticket for free. Neither YouTube service will offer a free trial.
No free plans for new subscribers.
DIRECTV included the Sunday Ticket for free when a new subscriber signed a two-year agreement. There are no freebies with the YouTube Ticket.
No monthly billing
DIRECTV allowed subscribers to pay for the Ticket’s steep price by the month. YouTube and YouTube TV do not.
No university student discounts
DIRECTV offered a major discount for college students. But as of now, Google, the owner of the two YouTube services, says: “We don’t currently offer student pricing for NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube or YouTube TV.”
No Ticket in every room of the house
DIRECTV’s ‘Whole Home’ service enabled Ticket subscribers to watch the games in any room of the house. However, YouTube’s Ticket has a two-stream maximum, meaning it can only be viewed on two devices at the same time.
The common theme on all five differences is that DIRECTV saw the Ticket as a retention tool while Google is looking to generate revenue with it, particularly since it agreed to pay $1 billion more per year for the rights than DIRECTV did. Google is going for every paid subscription it can get and with almost no discounts.
George, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann