By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, I was glad to see YouTube get rid of the two streams for the Sunday Ticket. Do you think they will now do some other things that make sense like single team plans to get more people to subscribe? — Nathan, Pocomoke, Maryland.
Nathan, YouTube announced last night that it will remove the two-stream maximum for the NFL Sunday Ticket on both YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels. Ticket subscribers will now have unlimited streams at home and two additional streams when watching away from home.
I suspect that the Google, which owns the two YouTube services, is doing this because subscriptions have failed to meet expectations thus far. The company is offering an early bird discount of $100 on both services until June 6. The switch on streams comes with less than two weeks before that deadline, a strong indicator that Google is trying to encourage people to consider subscribing now while the price is at his best.
The two-stream max had triggered numerous complaints on social media sites from people who have multiple TVs at home, and multiple people away from home with whom they want to split the cost of a subscription.
If the two-stream requirement was erased due to sub concerns, Google could be contemplating some other changes that would be popular with fans. For instance, unlike DIRECTV, the two YouTube services are not offering monthly payment plans; you have to pay in full up front. This is tough for people living paycheck to paycheck. A monthly payment plan would likely entice more people to sign up.
You might also see Google offer a discounted price for university students, another feature that was available on DIRECTV’s Sunday Ticket but not the YouTube one. Many college students would be interested in subscribing if the price was more affordable, particularly considering that password sharing with Mom and Dad may be uncertain here.
However, I don’t see Google implementing a single team plan. The company has agreed to pay $2.2 billion a year to the league for the exclusive rights to the Sunday Ticket. To make that investment worthwhile, the company needs a lot of revenue coming back in Ticket subscriptions.
If YouTube agreed to offer a single team package, more people who otherwise wouldn’t subscribe would undoubtedly sign up. But the problem is that many people who are now willing to pay anywhere from $249 to $489 for the entire package would undoubtedly downgrade to a sub-$200 single team option, which could mean less revenue overall for Google.
Unlike the MLB and NBA, which do offer single team plans, the NFL has only one client for its package of out-of-market games. And it’s Google which has agreed to pay a small fortune for the honor. Consequently, a single team would be risky, possibly triggering an economic bath.
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Nathan, hope that makes sense. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann
There are multiple issues i think for the streaming of NFLST. Just one example would be that I often flip between my live tv service to watch a game being broadcast locally, but then flip to other out of market games as I often watch more than one game at a time. I don’t have YTTV, so the flip between one service and another isn’t easy or quick. That’s just one issue imo. NFL really messed up giving the ticket to a streaming service imo.