NFL Sunday Ticket heads to YouTube in multiyear deal

Gene J. Puskar
NFL Sunday Ticket, which allows viewers to watch out-of-market games, will head to YouTube.

NFL Sunday Ticket, which allows fans to watch all-out-of-market Sunday regular-season games, is moving from DirecTV to Google-owned YouTube TV beginning next season, the league announced Thursday morning.

Terms were not disclosed, but the Wall Street Journal reported that Google will pay approximately $2 billion for the multi-year package.

Sunday Ticket will be available on two of YouTube’s subscription-based businesses: as an add-on channel on the streaming-service YouTube TV, and standalone a la carte option – meaning the subscribers selects the games they want to watch – on YouTube’s Primetime Channels.

“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,” said commissioner Roger Goodell 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.”


NFL Sunday Ticket, which launched in 1994, had previously been distributed on DirecTV’s satellite service. The NFL said in its announcement of the deal that it will work with YouTube to “to determine additional ways to support distribution of NFL Sunday Ticket in commercial establishments such as bars and restaurants.”

“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 Patriots owner Robert Kraft, chairman of the NFL’s media committee, in a statement. “This partnership will grow our game for future generations and allow them to follow their favorite sport.”

NFL Sunday Ticket’s Red Zone channel – one of two competing products of similar names, with the NFL Network also having a Red Zone channel — could be a potential casualty of NFL Sunday Ticket’s move from DirecTV to YouTube TV.

The DirecTV Red Zone, which launched in 2005, is the version hosted by Andrew Siciliano. The NFL Network’s version, which debuted in 2009, is hosted by Scott Hanson. The possibility of DirecTV’s Red Zone going dark was first reported by Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports.


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