YouTube Secures Deal for NFL Sunday Ticket After Apple Drops Out of Negotiations

YouTube has won the rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket after negotiations and a deal between the NFL and Apple failed to fully materialize, Google and the NFL announced today.

nfl sunday ticket feature
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, YouTube will pay roughly $2 billion a year to secure the rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket franchise as part of its YouTube TV service. NFL Sunday Ticket is a package that allows users to access and watch all Sunday games from out-of-market teams for games that may not be broadcasted on local channels or affiliates.

NFL Sunday Ticket will be offered as an add-on for YouTube TV, which currently costs $64.99 per month. The exact price of the add-on remains unknown. Neal Mohan, chief product officer at YouTube, speaking of the new deal, said "we'll be able to showcase these NFL games in a way that I think no other platform can."

Apple was originally seen as the top contender for securing the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket, with reports at one point suggesting Apple and the NFL had reached a final agreement. According to a new report this week by The Athletic, the agreement didn't go through due to apparent concerns at Cupertino that it wouldn't be able to incorporate NFL Sunday Ticket into its future AR/VR platforms.

Apple and the NFL also could not agree on whether the company would get the right to distribute Sunday Ticket on as yet non-existent platforms. Apple is heavily investing in virtual reality and augmented reality, nascent platforms in which sports are so far largely not viewed. As a result, Apple wanted what is dubbed known and unknown rights, individuals familiar with the NFL and Apple said. In other words, there is no known virtual reality market for Sunday Ticket, but there might be one day.

While YouTube will offer NFL Sunday Ticket as an add-on for YouTube, Apple reportedly wanted to offer NFL Sunday Ticket to Apple TV+ subscribers at no additional cost.

Tags: NFL, YouTube

Top Rated Comments

UltimateSyn Avatar
19 months ago
Really wish Apple had been able to win this deal.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
e-coli Avatar
19 months ago
Hard to see how the NFL is good for Apple’s brand, to be honest. The NFL brand has gotten pretty toxic. Maybe in the end this is a net positive.

(note: the NFL is not alone in being a toxic sports league…hello FIFA)
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
progx Avatar
19 months ago

Ouch! A bit embarrassing for Apple. Having said that, 2 billion for just one sport is a lot of money and I’m sure they’ll look into others.
Think this might get embarrassing for Google’s YouTube TV service when the price gets unveiled. It’s going to be $64.99 per month plus whatever they decide the add on is going to be charged. I think it’s going to make DirectTV look like a bargain bin. Don’t think this is an embarrassing loss for Apple as it’s going to be painful to football fans.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mrbrown Avatar
19 months ago
This is gross. NFL Sunday Ticket already costs an absurd amount of money through DirecTV (what, 300+ a season?) and, except in very limited circumstances (college students, mostly), you have to have a DirecTV subscription to subscribe to Sunday Ticket (so 60+ a month, minimum, with a two year contract, plus 300+).

Nothing changes, except for the 2 year contract requirement - maybe, I could see Google requiring a contract for YouTubeTV. It's still an absurd amount of money, with no standalone package.

MLB has a standalone package that's absolutely wonderful and reasonably priced. This just makes me hate the NFL more than I already do.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
beanbaguk Avatar
19 months ago
I wish they would ignore NFL which is primarily in the US, and go for global sports.

NFL has plenty of coverage in the US, but has very little interest outside the US.

They should focus on F1 (which has a 300% higher TV viewership than NFL), or major league football (aka soccer in the US).

They would get a ton more subscribers if they were able to stream those services. Not that I have any interest in football, I would love to see better streaming support for motorsports.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
19 months ago
Dang! I was hoping Apple was going to have this. Oh well! It just wasn’t meant to be.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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