By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, do you know if YouTube’s NFL Sunday Ticket has pre-season games? I saw a graphic that said it did but my friend who has it says it doesn’t. What’s the truth here? Can you inform us, please? — Larry, Trenton, New Jersey.
Larry, as you know, Google’s YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels now carry the NFL Sunday Ticket after it was an exclusive on DIRECTV for 28 seasons. The base Ticket plan (with no NFL RedZone) on YouTube TV is now available for $299 ($50 discount) while the base package on Primetime Channels (also with no RedZone) is now $399 ($50 discount).

Update, August 18, 2023: YouTube TV will test some preseason games on the Ticket.

But does the Sunday Ticket include pre-season games, you ask? The answer is no. Regular season Sunday afternoon games only. However, I can understand how you might think that YouTube’s Ticket does offer pre-season games. The streamer frequently posts a graphic that says if you subscribe to YouTube TV and the NFL Sunday Ticket, you will get pre-season games included in your package. That is technically true. But the pre-season games are airing on your local channels and the NFL Network, which are part of your YouTube TV package. They are not streaming as part of the Sunday Ticket plan. That’s why the graphic says you can’t get pre-season games on YouTube Primetime Channels; that service does not offer local channels or the NFL Network with the Sunday Ticket.

YouTube’s Sunday Ticket graphic suggests the plan includes pre-season games.

If you want out-of-market pre-season games, the league’s streaming service, NFL Plus, might be your answer. NFL Plus’ basic plan costs $6.99 a month or $39.99 a year and it now includes the NFL Network and live local and out-of-market pre-season games shown on local channels. (Annual cost rises to $49.99 after current promotion.) The Premium NFL Plus, which costs $14.99 a month, also includes the NFL RedZone channel; see this article for more details.

The NFL regular season games on NFL Plus only consist of national games and regional games that are available in your local TV market. In other words, this is no Sunday Ticket. You basically get the local broadcasts that you could watch with an antenna or a pay TV package from a cable or satellite operator.

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

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— Phillip Swann