YouTube is looking to take on the airing rights for Sunday Football.
- YouTube is talking with The National Football League (NFL) to get rights to NFL Sunday Ticket, allowing fans to watch most Sunday games on the platform.
- Sunday Ticket has around 1.5 million subscribers in its current deal with DirecTV.
- This deal would make Sunday Ticket an add-on service to either YouTube’s subscription services—YouTube TV or YouTube Primetime Channels.
- YouTube TV and primetime cost customers $64.99 a month for a bundle of channels, and the addition of Sunday Ticket hopes to help boost YouTube’s subscription sales.
Why it’s news
YouTube is processing a deal with the NFL to give the streaming service the exclusive rights to NFL Sunday Ticket with a deal expected this week.
DirecTV currently pays $1.5 billion a year for Sunday Ticket rights—but the company has been affected by subscriber declines and can’t justify the high cost of the relationship anymore. It only serves up 1.5 million subscribers with the games.
YouTube is looking to add the Sunday games as an add-on to its two subscription services—YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels.
YouTube has been attempting to gain more subscribers to its $64.99-a-month subscription services and thinks by adding Sunday Ticket and allowing users to watch Sunday football on the services, the subscribers will flood in.
YouTube is already deep in the sports market as it carries ESPN on its subscription services, but adding Sunday Ticket makes it a more significant player in the sports market.
The Shift from cable
Sunday Ticket leaving DirecTV and going to YouTube is pushing the migration of sports from traditional TV to streaming services.
Many sports affiliations have been moving from traditional cable networks to streaming services for higher prices and larger subscriber numbers as more people also make the shift.
Amazon and Apple have been adding sports to their respective streaming services lately. Amazon scored the rights to Thursday Night Football, where an average of 13 million viewers tuned into the first game, exceeding Amazon’s estimate of 12.5 million that it told advertisers to expect.
Many traditional cable networks still have heavy ties with sports, but the switch to streaming is gaining popularity.