NFL ‘Sunday Ticket’ headed to YouTube beginning next season


By JOE REEDY - AP Sports Writer



FILE -NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers questions from reporters at a press conference following the close of the NFL owner's meeting, Tuesday, March 29, 2022, at The Breakers resort in Palm Beach, Fla. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022 he isn't ready to oust Daniel Snyder as owner of the Washington Commanders and wants to discuss the possibility with other NFL owners.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

FILE -NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers questions from reporters at a press conference following the close of the NFL owner's meeting, Tuesday, March 29, 2022, at The Breakers resort in Palm Beach, Fla. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022 he isn't ready to oust Daniel Snyder as owner of the Washington Commanders and wants to discuss the possibility with other NFL owners.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)


FILE - The YouTube TV logo is seen Feb. 28, 2017, at the YouTube Space LA in Los Angeles. YouTube TV has emerged as the favorite to land the NFL's “Sunday Ticket” package of out-of-market games, but the sides have not finalized a deal, two people with knowledge of the negotiations said Tuesday evening, Dec. 20, 2022. A deal could be announced as soon as Wednesday, according to the people, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss financial matters and the contract is still being negotiated. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)


Fans will have to Google it beginning next season if they want to access the NFL’s “Sunday Ticket” package.

The NFL announced a multiyear agreement on Thursday for Google to distribute the package of out-of-market Sunday afternoon games on YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels.

The NFL was seeking $2.5 billion per season for the package, which has been on DirecTV since 1994. The satellite provider has paid $1.5 billion per year on an eight-year contract that expires at the end of this season.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said during an interview with CNBC over the summer that the next move for “Sunday Ticket” would be to a streaming service because that would be the best option for fans.

Goodell reiterated that with Thursday’s announcement.

“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,” he said in a statement.

It is the second time in less than two years that the NFL has partnered with a streaming service to air games. The league’s 11-year contract with Amazon Prime Video for Thursday night games started this season.

Besides Amazon, Apple and ESPN also expressed interest in “NFL Sunday Ticket.”

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

The NFL has had a presence on YouTube since 2015, when it launched its official NFL channel. That has increased to include channels for all 32 teams and 10 official league channels, including NFL Films, NFL Network and Mundo NFL.

NFL Network and NFL RedZone have been available to subscribers of YouTube TV since 2020.

“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,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in a statement. “We’re excited to continue our work with the NFL to make YouTube a great place for sports lovers everywhere.”

Starting next season, “NFL Sunday Ticket” will be available as an add-on package on YouTube TV and standalone a la carte on YouTube Primetime Channels.

Google said in June that YouTube TV, which was launched in 2017, had surpassed 5 million accounts and was the biggest internet-based pay TV service in the U.S. That number includes users on free promotional trials.

YouTube Primetime Channels, which launched in November, is a service that allows users to subscribe and watch content from streaming services on the YouTube app.

Even with “Sunday Ticket” moving to YouTube, the price is not expected to substantially decrease due to contracts with CBS and Fox, which carry the Sunday afternoon games.

Viewers pay around $300-$400 a season for the package, which averages 2 million subscribers.

The league also said it would work with YouTube to determine additional ways to support distribution of “Sunday Ticket” in commercial establishments.

Earlier this year, Amazon reached an agreement with DirecTV to make sure Thursday night games were available in bars and restaurants.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

FILE -NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers questions from reporters at a press conference following the close of the NFL owner’s meeting, Tuesday, March 29, 2022, at The Breakers resort in Palm Beach, Fla. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022 he isn’t ready to oust Daniel Snyder as owner of the Washington Commanders and wants to discuss the possibility with other NFL owners.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/12/web1_130393541-8d8c190421c84761b17e5ad137984a06.jpgFILE -NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers questions from reporters at a press conference following the close of the NFL owner’s meeting, Tuesday, March 29, 2022, at The Breakers resort in Palm Beach, Fla. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022 he isn’t ready to oust Daniel Snyder as owner of the Washington Commanders and wants to discuss the possibility with other NFL owners.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

FILE – The YouTube TV logo is seen Feb. 28, 2017, at the YouTube Space LA in Los Angeles. YouTube TV has emerged as the favorite to land the NFL’s “Sunday Ticket” package of out-of-market games, but the sides have not finalized a deal, two people with knowledge of the negotiations said Tuesday evening, Dec. 20, 2022. A deal could be announced as soon as Wednesday, according to the people, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss financial matters and the contract is still being negotiated. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/12/web1_130393541-a073beff2ea04d1c885a58c2ddff7343.jpgFILE – The YouTube TV logo is seen Feb. 28, 2017, at the YouTube Space LA in Los Angeles. YouTube TV has emerged as the favorite to land the NFL’s “Sunday Ticket” package of out-of-market games, but the sides have not finalized a deal, two people with knowledge of the negotiations said Tuesday evening, Dec. 20, 2022. A deal could be announced as soon as Wednesday, according to the people, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss financial matters and the contract is still being negotiated. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

By JOE REEDY

AP Sports Writer