NFL Sunday Ticket heads to Google’s YouTube TV in $2 billion deal

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AJ Dillon #28 of the Green Bay Packers avoids a tackle by Jalen Ramsey #5 of the Los Angeles Rams in the first half at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin on December 19, 2022.

Patrick McDermott | Getty Images

The National Football League announced Thursday that its Sunday Ticket subscription packages will move to Google’s YouTube TV starting next season.

YouTube TV will pay about $2 billion annually for rights to the Sunday Ticket package, according to people familiar with the matter.

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At the start of the 2023-24 season, the Sunday Ticket will be available in two ways. You can subscribe to individual streams as an add-on package for YouTube TV and as a standalone a la carte option for YouTube primetime channels. Watch movies as well as services and channels. Pricing has not yet been announced.

DirecTV has owned the Sunday Ticket rights since 1994 and has paid $1.5 billion annually since its last renewal in 2014. Still, the company was open to offering games to commercial venues such as bars and restaurants, according to people familiar with the matter.

A US-only product, the Sunday Ticket is the only way fans can watch the NFL Sunday afternoon games live outside of broadcasters CBS and Fox’s local markets.

This is the last NFL package to have media rights updates. last year, ParamountCBS of fox When comcast‘s NBC has agreed to pay more than $2 billion a year for the 11-year package, and Disney has agreed to pay Monday Night Football about $2.7 billion a year, CNBC previously reported.

Amazon secured the rights to “Thursday Night Football,” making it the first streaming-only platform to pay nearly $1 billion a year to broadcast NFL games.

The league had been in negotiations for some time to find a new owner for the Sunday ticket. appleAmazon, and Disney’s ESPN was among the bidders interested in the package at one point, CNBC previously reported.

YouTube TV is an internet bundle of broadcast and cable networks, mirroring traditional linear pay-TV operators. The basic plan is $64.99/month. In July, Google announced that YouTube TV had more than 5 million customers, including trial subscriptions.

In recent months, YouTube TV has seen a strong rise in rights as it can offer much of what the league hoped it would achieve with its new Sunday Ticket partner, a technology platform with a large balance sheet and global reach. emerged as a strong candidate. Ability to support bundled legacy TVs.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is pushing to stream Sunday tickets. “I think that’s what’s best for consumers at this stage,” Goodell previously told CNBC.

For a while, it seemed like Apple was getting closer to getting the rights. The company is expanding the sports footprint of its Apple TV+ streaming service. The company recently signed him to a 10-year deal with Major League Soccer starting in 2023, and began airing Major League Baseball games on Friday nights last year.

But discussions fell apart because of existing restrictions on Sunday Ticket rights, and Apple wanted more flexibility in how the packages were distributed, CNBC previously reported.

Amazon, which already aired the “Thursday Night Football” game, was seen as another strong contender given that it is a streaming-only platform.

These contests are primarily aired on Prime, while DirecTV distributes the games commercially in bars, restaurants, hotels and retail stores. The two signed a multi-year deal before the start of the season. DirecTV is interested in bringing the Sunday Ticket game to a similar scale, according to people familiar with the matter.

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