Another big sports offering is moving from linear TV to streaming: YouTube will be the new home of the NFL’s Sunday Ticket package, starting next season, ending a decades-long partnership with DirecTV, the NFL announced Thursday.
The package — which allows viewers to watch every NFL game on Sundays instead of just the local games carried on broadcast TV — will be available as a separately priced add-on to subscribers of YouTube TV as well as the recently launched YouTube Primetime Channels, which collects content from 30 different streaming services in one hub. Pricing has not been disclosed as of press time.
“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 watch and follow the NFL,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “For a number of years we have been focused on increased digital distribution of our games and this partnership is yet another example of us looking towards the future and building the next generation of NFL fans.”
Added YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki: “YouTube has long been a home for football fans, whether they’re streaming live games, keeping up with their home team, or watching the best plays in highlights. Through this expanded partnership with the NFL, viewers will now also be able to experience the game they love in compelling and innovative ways through YouTube TV or YouTube Primetime Channels. We’re excited to continue our work with the NFL to make YouTube a great place for sports lovers everywhere.”
The Sunday Ticket package has been exclusively offered by satellite TV provider DirecTV since 1994, with the current deal expiring at the end of the 2022 NFL season. (DirecTV reportedly paid $1.5 billion annually for the exclusive rights.) The package only applies to Sunday afternoon NFL games; other outlets like ESPN and NBC hold the rights to broadcast primetime games on Thursdays, Sundays and Mondays.
Lucrative sports rights have been moving to streaming services in recent years: This year, the NFL’s Thursday Night Football games moved to Amazon Prime Video, and Apple TV+ unveiled a Friday Night Baseball lineup of MLB games.