After months of protracted negotiations with the likes of Amazon, Apple, Disney, and other big streaming players, the NFL has finally chosen the new home for its vaunted Sunday Ticket package: YouTube.
Google broke the news Thursday morning, detailing that NFL Sunday Ticket would be available in two forms starting with the 2023 season: as an add-on for YouTube TV users, and as a stand-alone package through YouTube Primetime Channels.
Google didn’t give any details on what it would charge for NFL Sunday Ticket next season. Previously, DirecTV had charged upwards of $300 for a full season of Sunday Ticket access.
Google did reveal that the basics of NFL Sunday Ticket won’t change once it lands on YouTube. The package will still included only out-of-market Sunday games broadcast by CBS and Fox during the regular season.
Crucially, that doesn’t include NFL matchups on Sunday, Monday, or Thursday nights, which are broadcast on NBC, ESPN, and Amazon, respectively.
Google noted that it would announce “updated” Sunday Ticket “features and functionality” before the 2023 NFL seasons kicks off.
DirecTV had the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket since 1994, but its contract with the NFL for the package ends with the 2022 regular season. The NFL had made it clear that it wanted a streamer to take over Sunday Ticket, and the only question was which one.
For months, Apple was thought to be the front-runner for Sunday Ticket, and there were even reports that it had sealed the deal.
But within the past week, word emerged that Apple dropped out of the negotiations. Price was surely a factor, but there was also talk that the NFL balked at Apple’s desire for the right offer Sunday Ticked on “yet non-existent platforms,” including potentially augmented and virtual reality.
Around the same time, news broke that Google’s YouTube was suddenly the front-runner for Sunday Ticket.