The NFL’s “Sunday Ticket” is heading to YouTube.
Google and the NFL officially agreed to bring the popular service to YouTube starting next season, the league and YouTube announced in an official statement Thursday.
“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,” Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, said. “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 deal will reportedly cost YouTube $2 billion a year for the rights to “Sunday Ticket” and could climb even higher if “certain benchmarks are reached,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The NFL reportedly will also look to license the commercial rights for bars and restaurants for an additional $200 million, per the Journal.
This marks the second major streaming deal the league has launched in as many years.
Amazon Prime Video is now the exclusive home for Thursday night games through the 2033 season. It is paying the league about $1 billion per season. Disney, ViacomCBS, Fox and Comcast are all reportedly paying more than $2 billion per season for their respective NFL deals, too.
DirecTV, which held the rights for “Sunday Ticket” since it first launched in 1994, was paying about $1.5 billion per season. DirecTV’s deal was up after the 2022 season. The league has been hunting for a new home for the service for some time after reports DirecTV was losing $500 million annually on “Sunday Ticket”. Other than Google, Apple was a favorite though talks between the NFL and Apple reportedly broke down last week.
“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,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in the statement.
The service has become a critical part of the NFL season for fans across the country. It allows fans to watch nearly any game regardless of market and because of NFL RedZone. Now, it’ll be an add-on for YouTube TV through YouTube’s Primetime Channels, a service that already costs $64.99 a month. For reference, YouTube TV already offers an MLB.TV package for an extra $24.99 a month. “Sunday Ticket” cost $300-$400 per season when it aired on DirecTV.
The deal with YouTube concludes a years-long pursuit by Google for the NFL service, the Journal reported. Google CEO Larry Page reportedly met with Goodell back in 2013 about the rights to “Sunday Ticket” before the NFL re-upped with DirecTV.
Nine years later, “Sunday Ticket” is headed to a new platform.