NFL Sunday Ticket moves to YouTube, leaving Apple behind
by FARUK IMAMOVIC | VIEW 653
The NFL announced on Thursday that it has reached a deal to bring its Sunday Ticket package of out-of-market games to Google's YouTube and YouTube TV platforms. This will allow the two companies to boost their subscription business.
Amazon currently sublicenses Thursday Night Football to DirecTV for distribution in bars and restaurants, which may not have the ability to stream the games on their own. It is possible that DirecTV could continue to distribute Sunday Ticket through this avenue as well.
The NFL stated in its release that it will work with YouTube to determine additional ways to support the distribution of Sunday Ticket in commercial establishments such as bars and restaurants. “The NFL and YouTube will work together to determine additional ways to support distribution of NFL Sunday Ticket in commercial establishments such as bars and restaurants”.
According to a source close to the deal, a separate bidding process is ongoing for the distribution of Sunday Ticket in commercial establishments. Apple was previously considered a frontrunner for the NFL's Sunday Ticket package, but the company ultimately backed out of negotiations due to issues with contract language.
“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.
“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,” 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.
We’re excited to continue our work with the NFL to make YouTube a great place for sports lovers everywhere”.