Thursday morning, the National Football League announced YouTube TV will take the ball and run with NFL Sunday Ticket, the league’s out-of-market games package. The deal will begin at the start of the 2023 season. Both sides agreed to a seven-year contract. It marks the end of the 28 year partnership with DirecTV.
The New York Times reported the deal is worth $2.5 billion per year. However, it is suggested that Youtube will pay on average $2 billion per year, a $500 million increase compared to the previous deal with DirecTV.
“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. “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.”
Beginning next season, NFL Sunday Ticket will be available as an odd-on package on YouTube TV and also as a standalone, à-la-carte basis with YouTube’s Primetime Channels package.
Sunday Ticket consists of all out-of-market Sunday regular-season games broadcast on CBS and FOX, based on viewer location, and allows viewers to watch any of those games. Local games are blacked out on Sunday Ticket and can only be watched on the local CBS or FOX station.
“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,” said Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube. “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 Shield and YouTube are working to secure additional methods to support the distribution of the NFL Sunday Ticket in bars and restaurants. According to a Wall Street Journal report, it could yield an additional $200 million in revenue.
“As the ways fans enjoy NFL football evolve in a changing media landscape, partnerships with innovators like YouTube will ensure that more games are available to more fans,” said Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots and chairman of the NFL’s Media Committee. “This partnership will grow our game for future generations and allow them to follow their favorite sport.”
Before the NFL secured a deal with YouTube, it was in talks with Apple, Amazon and ESPN for the streaming rights package. Moreover, it was the last package to secure a long-term contract, previously the NFL secured broadcasting rights from Paramount Global, NBC Universal, FOX, Disney and the newly-minted package from Amazon to broadcast Thursday Night Football through 2033. Currently, the NFL makes on average $7.7 billion on television rights.
The NFL and YouTube have been partners since 2015. Currently, the NFL’s YouTube channel has 10.3 million subscribers.