By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, I refused to pay YouTube TV for the Sunday Ticket because I hate that so many sports is only on streaming now. Do you know if there’s any chance that DIRECTV could still add the NFL Sunday Ticket as a deal with Google? And what about the NFL RedZone channel? Will it have that? — Robert, Abilene, Texas.
Robert, Google this year will offer the NFL Sunday Ticket via YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels after it was an exclusive on DIRECTV for 28 years. The base price this year is now $349 on YouTube TV and a whopping $449 on YouTube Primetime Channels. Add another $40 on each plan if you want the NFL RedZone channel. (Google did offer a $100 early-bird discount but the promotional price ended on June 6.)
Since the announcement last December that Google would get the Ticket starting this year, I have received a steady flow of reader e-mails asking if it’s possible that DIRECTV could continue offering it through a partnership with Google. The satcaster’s recent deal with EverPass Media to continue providing the package of out-of-market games to bars and restaurants seems to have spurred even more inquiries.
But a well-placed source inside DIRECTV headquarters tells me that the company is not interested in a similar leasing arrangement with Google to provide the Ticket to residential customers. While it’s not inconceivable that could change if Google finds that pre-season subscription numbers are not meeting expectations, and turns to DIRECTV for help, it’s highly unlikely.
As for the NFL RedZone, I am also told that DIRECTV wants to add it before the season begins in September. (The satcaster had a different version of the RedZone as part of its Ticket Max plan but can no longer offer it now that it has lost the Ticket’s rights. It has never carried the NFL’s version of the RedZone, called NFL RedZone.) However, it’s a complicated negotiation because DIRECTV presumably would have to come to terms on adding the NFL Network and NFL RedZone to DIRECTV Stream and U-verse as well. So, no guarantees here.
The TV Answer Man will continue to monitor this situation and report back here if anything significant changes. Until then, 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