of NFL A source close to the NFL has confirmed that a deal is close to move the highly sought-after Sunday Ticket from the Market Games bundle to Google’s YouTube. The athletics. It was the Wall Street Journal. First to report This news. Here’s what you need to know:
- The deal ends DirecTV’s 30-year run with the bundle and highlights the migration of sports to streaming.
- The NFL wants well north of $2.0 billion a year.
- Apple had been in the lead for a while, but dropped the deal weeks ago.
This deal still needs to be voted on by the owners. It ends the long reign of DirecTV, which launched the package in 1994, giving fans who live outside their favorite team’s market the ability to watch the game. The NFL and Google declined to comment.
The deal marks another major turning point in media, the move of a major sports property from a traditional carrier to streaming. Ironically, DirecTV was seen as a pioneer in satellite service in the early 1990s. Now he’s losing the hot media in the sport.
Google YouTube and YouTube TV can use Sunday Ticket to boost their subscription business. How much Google, which is part of Alphabet, is paying is not known. DirecTV pays an average of $1.5 billion a year, and the NFL was seeking at least $1.0 billion more.
But it’s unclear whether the league got that much. From Thursday Night Football—now on Amazon Prime—to Christmas Day games and third Thanksgiving games, Sunday ticket prices have dropped for many.
It is also worth noting that the deal includes bars and restaurants that are sold separately. Amazon provides Thursday Night Football for DirecTV to bars and restaurants, which generally have a hard time streaming the games. So DirecTV can continue to cut Sunday tickets this way.
Apple has long been the NFL’s leading contender and preferred candidate, but has been unable to agree on contract language and recently pulled out of talks.
A lot of details need to be filled in: How much does YouTube charge for a Sunday ticket, does it sell packages for a team, individual games? Want to sign up for YouTube TV or YouTube Premium, the $11.99/month ad-free platform for the video site?
The pricing will come as a surprise because it’s no secret that DirecTV has been losing money from a financial standpoint on its service, which by some estimates has two million subscribers, many of whom are heavily discounted. DirecTV charges between $300 and $400 per season, not enough to account for the NFL’s average annual payout of $1.5 billion. DirecTV saw the package as a loss leader because it got customers in the door, and that’s how YouTube sees Sunday Ticket.
This move clearly meets the NFL’s goal of making Sunday Ticket more accessible. It’s a lot easier than signing up for YouTube Premium and then getting Sunday Ticket Satellite (DirecTV offers a streaming option in areas where satellite feeds aren’t available).
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(Photo: Caitlin Mulcahy/Getty Images)