By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman

Reader Question

TV Answer Man, do you think YouTube will eventually have single game or single week ordering for the Sunday Ticket? Could they do it this season before it’s over? It would be great if you could just order a game or two without having to pay for the entire season. — Tom, Miami.
Tom, as you know, Google’s YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels are carrying the NFL Sunday Ticket for the first time this year after it was an exclusive on DIRECTV for 28 seasons. After a mid-season discount, the Sunday Ticket price ranges from $174 to $244 for the remainder of the season, which is still a bit much for many fans. Various estimates have pegged this year’s Sunday Ticket subscriber numbers at around 1.3 million to 1.5 million and you have to think the price point is the biggest reason why it’s not more.

Could YouTube Make More Money From Single-Game Ordering?

But what if YouTube allowed fans to order single games or a single week? Wouldn’t more fans participate if it did? DIRECTV offered single-week ordering a few years ago (price: $69.99 for one week.) although it never sold single games as part of its Ticket lineup. Many fans on social media have urged YouTube to institute single game or week orders and the TV Answer Man has also received numerous e-mails with the same request. To date, YouTube has simply said it has no plans to do single games or weeks. And now we know why.

Sports Illustrated just interviewed Brian Rolapp, the NFL’s chief media officer. During the session, SI asked Rolapp if YouTube would introduce single game ordering in the future. His response:

What the NFL Thinks of Single-Game Ordering

“We’ve never liked that model. We haven’t heard a ton of that in our fan research that they want that. We think the value of the product is pretty good. Is there an opportunity for less than all games, maybe. We haven’t seriously talked about à la carte games. That’s nowhere really in our future,” Rolapp said.

If the NFL doesn’t want single game ordering, you can bet that YouTube won’t be doing it. My guess is that Fox and CBS, which pays the league significant sums for its rights, would not favor single game ordering via the Ticket. That could reduce their viewership.

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

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

— Phillip Swann