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YouTube TV subs get price break on new 'NFL Sunday Ticket' packagesYouTube TV subs get price break on new 'NFL Sunday Ticket' packages

During a presale period, YouTube TV subs can add NFL Sunday Ticket for the upcoming season for $249. The presale price rises to $349 for consumers who buy the premium football TV package as a standalone.

Jeff Baumgartner

April 11, 2023

4 Min Read
YouTube TV subs get price break on new 'NFL Sunday Ticket' packages

Nearly four months after striking an exclusive deal to distribute the NFL Sunday Ticket package, YouTube has released presale and regular retail pricing for the out-of-market football TV package. Notably, customers of YouTube TV, the company's multichannel pay-TV service, will get a sizable price break on the package.

Figure 1: YouTube announced its exclusive deal to distribute the NFL Sunday Ticket package in December 2022. (Source: YouTube) YouTube announced its exclusive deal to distribute the NFL Sunday Ticket package in December 2022.
(Source: YouTube)

YouTube is offering a mix of pricing and packaging options for consumers who want to add NFL Sunday Ticket to their YouTube TV subscriptions or subscribe to it a la carte via the YouTube Premium Channels service. Here's a snapshot of how those options stack up:

  • YouTube TV subs on the service's base plan (regularly $72.99 per month) can purchase NFL Sunday Ticket as an add-on during the presale period (through June 6, 2023), for $249 for the season: $100 off the "retail price" of $349.

  • YouTube TV subs can also combine NFL Sunday Ticket and the NFL RedZone channel for $289 for the season during the presale – a $100 discount on the regular price of $389 for the season.

  • Consumers also have the option to purchase NFL Sunday Ticket on a standalone basis (no pay-TV subscription required) for the presale price of $349 for the season, a price that rises to $449 when the presale period ends. YouTube is selling the Sunday Ticket a la carte using Primetime Channels, a service that sells a range of premium streaming services such as Paramount+ and AMC+.

  • Via Primetime Channels, consumers can bundle NFL Sunday Ticket and NFL RedZone for the presale price of $389, or $489 when the presale period ends.

  • According to the fine print, YouTube isn't offering refunds, and the NFL Sunday Ticket subscription auto-renews at the current seasonal price unless cancelled.

Depending on whether NFL Sunday Ticket is being added to a YouTube TV subscription or purchased a la carte, YouTube's presale prices come in both below and above the $293 that DirecTV, the distributor that previously held exclusive rights for NFL Sunday Ticket, sold it for last season.

Potential for mid- and late-season options

Some variations on NFL Sunday Ticket pricing could emerge deeper into the 2023 regular season. Christian Oestlein, VP of product management at YouTube, said the company is researching possible mid-season and late-season forms of the package, according to The Verge.

YouTube is predictably giving preferential treatment to YouTube TV – using NFL Sunday Ticket as a tool to retain and acquire customers who also happen to be football fans. Launched in early 2017, YouTube TV had more than 5 million paid and trial subscribers as of July 2022.

As it takes over a package that previously was distributed exclusively by DirecTV, YouTube has also developed some new interactive features for NFL Sunday Ticket. Those include a way for subscribers to view multiple games simultaneously and access to key plays.

"We are also working on adding shopping integrations so viewers can easily buy merchandise to support their teams, and social features that YouTube users are already familiar with, like chat, polls, and more," Oestlein explained in this blog post.

YouTube is reportedly paying about $2 billion per year over seven years to distribute NFL Sunday Ticket via YouTube TV and the YouTube Premium Channels service. Prior to details on how YouTube would price and package the NFL offering, MoffettNathanson (a unit of SVB Securities) estimated that the company would need to attract about 4.5 million Sunday Ticket subscribers just to break even.

At the time, MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson viewed that as a tall task, considering DirecTV had reportedly peaked at 2 million NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers.

YouTube's deal with the NFL adds to a string of sports rights deals involving streaming platforms and the use of a direct-to-consumer model. Examples of other premium streaming services that have secured distribution rights for popular sports include Amazon, Apple, NBCUniversal's Peacock and Paramount+.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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