In a move that will see its online video juggernaut gain even more traction, Google has sealed a multi-year deal with the US National Football League (NFL) giving YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels the right to exclusively distribute Sunday Ticket action.
NFL Sunday Ticket launched in 1994 and has been distributed on DirecTV's satellite service since its inception. Comprising all out-of-market Sunday regular-season NFL games (based on viewer's location) broadcast on FOX and CBS, NFL Sunday Ticket gives fans in the US the ability to follow teams and players no matter where they live. Updated NFL Sunday Ticket product features and functionality will be announced ahead of the 2023 NFL season.
The NFL and Google have been partners since the League first launched its official NFL channel on YouTube iNFL channel on YouTube in 2015. Since then, the NFL YouTube channel has grown to more than 10 million subscribers. The NFL's presence on YouTube has increased to include channels for all 32 NFL clubs, as well as ten official League channels including NFL Films, NFL Network, and the NFL's Hispanic channel, Mundo NFL. In 2020, the NFL expanded its partnership with a carriage agreement to bring NFL Network and NFL RedZone to YouTube TV subscribers. Under the expanded relationship, the carriage agreement has been extended.
The new partnership will begin with the 2023 NFL season when NFL Sunday Ticket will be available on two of YouTube's growing subscription businesses as an add-on package on YouTube TV and standalone a-la-carte on YouTube Primetime Channels. The NFL and YouTube will also work together to determine additional ways to support distribution of NFL Sunday Ticket in commercial establishments such as bars and restaurants.
"We're excited to bring NFL Sunday Ticket to YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels and usher in a new era of how fans across the United States watch and follow the NFL," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell commenting on the deal. "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."
"YouTube has long been a home for football fans, whether they're streaming live games, keeping up with their home team, or watching the best plays in highlights," added YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki. "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. We're excited to continue our work with the NFL to make YouTube a great place for sports lovers everywhere."