YouTube will pay an average price of about $2 billion a year to secure rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket franchise, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Google and the NFL did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment. 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, the company said on Thursday.
DirecTV, the largest satellite provider in the United States and which is 70% owned by AT&T Inc, had the rights to Sunday Ticket until the end of the 2022 season. "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," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "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." Sports has remained one of the biggest and most reliable attractions for live viewing, even as U.S.
audiences are cutting their pay TV subscriptions and migrating to streaming services. Sports distribution rights are increasingly a draw for deep-pocketed tech companies seeking to grow streaming audiences. MOST PRIZED The NFL is the most prized sports media asset in the U.S.
In March 2021 the league said it had reached long-term media deals with Amazon.com Inc. and major broadcast and cable companies that run through 2033, divvying up packages of games. The deals could be worth over $100 billion, according to CNBC.
Amazon, which secured exclusive rights to "Thursday Night Football," will also stream its first-ever "Black Friday" game on its Amazon Prime Video service next year. Fox will air the Super Bowl in February. Apple - which is spending heavily on content for its Apple TV+ streaming service, and is the first streamer to have won a Best Picture Oscar - has also made a play for sports rights.
In June it announced a partnership with Major League Soccer to stream every game on the Apple TV app for the next decade. In March it struck a deal to stream Major League Baseball games. "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," said Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube.
"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." (Reporting by Helen Coster in New York and Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru and Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Devika Syamnath) By Helen Coster