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NFL and Google Reach New Multi-Year Deal for NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV

The National Football League today (on Dec. 22, 2022) announced a multi-year agreement with Google granting YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels the right to exclusively distribute NFL Sunday Ticket to consumers in the United States starting with the 2023 NFL season.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Joe Flint and Miles Kruppa first broke this story. The report details that YouTube is licensing the residential rights for seven years. Those rights are valued at approximately $2 billion per season and could increase if certain benchmarks are reached.

NFL Sunday Ticket is popular in bars and restaurants; the NFL will also seek to license the commercial rights for those establishments for an additional $200 million.

We’re excited to bring NFL Sunday Ticket to YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels and usher in a new era of how fans across the United States access, watch and follow the NFL,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “For a number of years we have been focused on increased digital distribution of our games and this strategic partnership is yet another example of us looking towards the future and building the next generation of NFL fans.

Starting next season (in 2023), NFL Sunday Ticket will be available on two of YouTube’s growing subscription businesses as an add-on package on YouTube TV and standalone a-la-carte on YouTube Primetime Channels.

Consisting of all out-of-market Sunday regular-season NFL games (based on viewer’s location) broadcast on Fox and CBS, NFL Sunday Ticket allows fans in the United States the ability to follow all their favorite teams and players no matter where they live.

Updated NFL Sunday Ticket product features and functionality will be announced ahead of the 2023 NFL season.

DirecTV, which has had exclusive rights to Sunday Ticket since 1994, was paying a $1.5 billion annual fee to the NFL to carry Ticket but had reportedly been losing about $500 million per year on the package. The satellite service, which still transmits Amazon’s “Thursday Night Football” to bars and restaurants, currently has a subscriber base of 13.5 million, down seven million since 2017, amidst the ongoing trend of cord-cutting.

The NFL and Google have been partners since the League first launched its official NFL channel on YouTube in 2015. Since then, the NFL YouTube channel has grown to more than 10 million subscribers who enjoy clips, highlights, game-day compilations and exclusive original content series like “NFL Follies” and NFL Films’ two-time Emmy winning flagship series “Gameday All-Access”, a mic’d up players show bringing fans inside the huddle and on the sidelines for exclusive access during the game.

Since 2015, the NFL’s presence on YouTube has increased to include channels for all 32 NFL clubs, as well as ten official League channels including NFL Films, NFL Network, and the NFL’s Hispanic channel, Mundo NFL. Since the start of the NFL/YouTube partnership, NFL content on YouTube has generated billions of views.

Additionally, as part of the agreement, YouTube and the NFL will facilitate exclusive access to official content and attendance opportunities for select YouTube Creators at key NFL tentpole events. YouTube is now also the presenting sponsor of both Back Together Saturday as well as NFL Kickoff Weekend. Back Together Saturday is the League’s official start to training camp when all 32 NFL clubs hold practices with club-led fan events. YouTube’s presenting sponsorship of NFL Kickoff Weekend marks the first time a League partner will have a presence from the kickoff of the season on Thursday night through the weekend games and Monday night.

In 2020, the NFL expanded its partnership with a carriage agreement to bring NFL Network and NFL RedZone to YouTube TV subscribers. Under the expanded relationship, the carriage agreement has been extended.

YouTube TV is a subscription streaming service that lets viewers watch live and on-demand TV from over 100 channels. Its cost per month before add-ons is currently $64.99. Viewers have access to local and national live sports, breaking news, shows, movies, and more, and can tune in on any screen (phone, tablet, TV, computer). The service has over five million subscribers, as of December 2022.

YouTube Primetime Channels is a new way for users to subscribe and watch content from their favorite streaming services right on the YouTube app. With over 30 channels, users can browse, sign up for, and watch their favorite shows, movies, sports, and more. With so many streaming options today, Primetime Channels makes it easier for viewers to watch their content in one place without having to jump from app to app, while also managing their subscriptions all in one place.

DirecTV currently has a $300 per season version of Sunday Ticket and a $400 version that features extra NFL-related content.