CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

NFL Sunday Ticket and YouTube: 8 Things Football Fans Should Know

The biggest thing we don't know? How much it will cost.

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
Expertise 5G, mobile networks, wireless carriers, phones, tablets, streaming devices, streaming platforms, mobile and console gaming
Eli Blumenthal
4 min read
George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates at Levi's Stadium.

NFL fans will have a new streaming option next year, but its price remains a mystery.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

NFL Sunday Ticket is heading to YouTube. After months of speculation, the league and Google announced a partnership to stream all out-of-market football games in the US, starting next football season, in the fall of 2023. The games will be available to watch on YouTube TV and YouTube's Primetime Channels service.

This is big news, but as a football fan you probably have plenty of questions about this partnership and what it will mean. We don't have all the information yet, but let's try to answer some of the biggest questions now.

Will NFL Sunday Ticket be free on YouTube? 

It will not be free or even simply included in the base $65 per month YouTube TV package. "There will be a price for Sunday Ticket," Brent Lawton, vice president of media strategy and business development at the NFL, said in a call with reporters Thursday afternoon. 

The NFL and Google have not announced how much Sunday Ticket will cost next season, but you will have to pay some type of subscription fee. In the press release announcing the deal, the league says that Sunday Ticket will be available as "an add-on package on YouTube TV and standalone a-la-carte on YouTube Primetime Channels."

Lawton says that pricing will be "at YouTube's discretion" though he noted that "there is sort of a pathway to create some different bundles down the road." What those bundles might look like or how much they will cost, however, remains unclear. 

NFL Sunday Ticket YouTube

NFL Sunday Ticket is heading to YouTube in 2023.

Screenshot by Eli Blumenthal/CNET

How much does Sunday Ticket cost now? 

DirecTV, which has offered Sunday Ticket since its inception in 1994, charged around $300 for the base Sunday Ticket package this past season. A "Max" version that offered a DirecTV-specific version of RedZone and allowed for multiple streams cost $400 for the season. 

Do I need to subscribe to YouTube TV to get Sunday Ticket? 

No. Google will offer Sunday Ticket in two ways. One will be an add-on for YouTube TV, the company's existing live TV streaming service that currently costs $65 per month and is designed for cord-cutters who don't subscribe to cable TV. 

If you don't want to sign up for YouTube TV, however, you will still be able to get Sunday Ticket through YouTube Primetime Channels. 

What are YouTube Primetime Channels? 

YouTube Primetime Channels, which launched in November, allows you to subscribe to services like Starz, Showtime and Paramount Plus and watch them directly on YouTube without the need to bounce between individual apps. Each requires a monthly fee. With Primetime Channels, you will be able to sign up for Sunday Ticket on its own for a fee, without needing to also shell out for YouTube TV. 

Watch this: What It's Like Playing VR Football: NFL Pro Era Hands-On

What does Sunday Ticket include? Can I watch my local NFL team? 

Sunday Ticket does not have every NFL game. It allows you to watch all "out-of-market" NFL games on Sundays that air on CBS and Fox. Games airing on your local CBS or Fox station, as well as national games on CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, NFL Network or streaming services like Amazon and ESPN Plus, are not included. Instead, they're blacked out on the service.

Sunday Ticket also does not include the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl, which are all nationally televised.

If you pay for YouTube TV, Google's $65-per-month cable alternative, those CBS, Fox, ESPN and NFL Network channels are already included, so you'll be able to watch all the NFL action that isn't tied to a streaming service like Amazon's Prime Video or ESPN Plus. 

If you subscribe through YouTube Primetime Channels, you likely will still need to sign up for a different live TV streaming service or cable package to get the traditional channels and local broadcasts, including games airing on your local CBS or Fox station.

Read more: NFL 2022: How to Stream Every Game Live Without Cable

Does YouTube TV still have RedZone? 

Yes. YouTube TV has offered the NFL Network and the RedZone channel -- the league's whip-around channel that bounces between games on Sundays -- since 2020 as an $11-per-month add-on. 

The league said today that "under the expanded relationship, the carriage agreement has been extended."

When will this Sunday Ticket deal start? 

The deal will start with the 2023 NFL regular season, due to kick off next fall. NFL Sunday Ticket for the rest of the 2022 NFL regular season, due to end on Jan. 8, 2023, will remain exclusive to DirecTV. 

The NFL confirmed that YouTube will have the Sunday Ticket rights for seven years. 

How much is Google paying for NFL Sunday Ticket? 

Google and the NFL did not disclose the terms of their deal, but The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Google's deal with the NFL will see the tech giant pay the league "roughly" $2 billion a year for seven years. It says that the cost, however, could still rise "if certain benchmarks are reached."