Starting next season, fans will have to search on Google if they want access to the NFL’s “Sunday Ticket” package.
The NFL announced Thursday that Google has agreed to distribute an off-market Sunday afternoon game package on its YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime channels.
The seven-year contract is worth just over $2 billion per season. This package has been on DirecTV since 1994. The satellite provider is paying $1.5 billion a year on his eight-year contract, which expires at the end of this season.
The NFL wanted $2.5 billion per season for the package. The league holds the commercial rights to the bars and restaurants and is in the process of selling those rights, so we could still reach that total.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said in an interview with CNBC over the summer that the next move for “Sunday Ticket” would be a streaming service.
Goodell repeated that in Thursday’s announcement.
“For years, we have focused on increasing the digital distribution of our games, and this partnership is another example of how we look to the future and build the next generation of NFL fans.
It’s the second time in less than two years that the NFL has partnered with a streaming service to air the game. His 11-year contract with Amazon Prime Video for the league on Thursday night games began this season.
Besides Amazon, Apple and ESPN also expressed interest in the “NFL Sunday Ticket.”
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, chairman of the NFL’s media committee, said: “This partnership will allow us to grow our game for future generations and follow the sport they love.”
The NFL has had a presence on YouTube since launching the official NFL channel in 2015. This now includes all 32 team channels and 10 official league channels including NFL Films, NFL Network and Mundo NFL.
NFL Network and NFL RedZone are available to YouTube TV subscribers starting in 2020.
“Our expanded partnership with the NFL will allow viewers to experience the games they love in engaging and innovative ways through our YouTube TV or YouTube Primetime channels,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in a statement. “We are excited to continue our collaboration with the NFL and make YouTube a great place for sports enthusiasts around the world.”
Starting next season, the NFL Sunday Ticket will be available as an add-on package on YouTube TV and as a standalone a la carte on YouTube Primetime channels.
Google announced in June that YouTube TV, which launched in 2017, has surpassed 5 million accounts, making it the largest internet-based pay-TV service in the United States. This number includes users during a free promotional trial.
Launched in November, the YouTube Primetime Channel is a service that allows users to subscribe and watch content from the streaming service on the YouTube app.
Even with the “Sunday Ticket” moving to YouTube, prices aren’t expected to drop significantly due to CBS’s deal with Fox to host Sunday afternoon games.
Viewers pay about $300-$400 per season for packages, with an average subscriber count of 2 million.
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