NFL Sunday Ticket Rights May Be Heading to Google's YouTube TV, Report Claims

YouTube TV may soon become the exclusive home of the NFL's valuable Sunday Ticket package.

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.
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Eli Blumenthal
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Google could be ready for a lot of football. According to a report Tuesday night from The Wall Street Journal, the search giant is in "advanced talks" to acquire the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket. The report says that a deal could be announced as soon as Wednesday. 

The NFL declined to comment. Google did not immediately respond to a CNET request for comment.

If the deal does come to fruition, Google would be taking over the Sunday Ticket rights from DirecTV, which has been the exclusive home of the package since 1994. The satellite provider has paid the league over $1.5 billion annually in recent years for Sunday Ticket, often using the NFL games as a way to lure and retain subscribers. 

The Journal reports that the Sunday Ticket package would be available to stream as an add-on either through YouTube TV, Google's $65-per-month streaming TV service, as well as through YouTube Primetime Channels. Announced in November, the latter service is Google's way of offering premium content from providers like Starz, Showtime, Epix and Paramount Plus directly on YouTube. 

It is unclear what Google might charge for Sunday Ticket. For a full season, DirecTV has previously priced the service at roughly $300 for the base Sunday Ticket service, or $400 for a "Max" version that included extra channels like RedZone. 

Reports have previously indicated that the NFL was looking for $2.5 billion annually for Sunday Ticket in its new deal, and while that's a lofty sum for content, the high price tag reportedly didn't stop Apple, Amazon or Disney from joining the bidding for the rights. Amazon is said to be paying the NFL $1 billion per year to be the exclusive home for Thursday Night Football games this fall. 

Unlike the Amazon deal, which streams its games on Amazon-owned Prime Video and Twitch platforms, Sunday Ticket does not stop you from watching your local CBS or Fox Sunday broadcasts on TV. 

As an out-of-market option, it allows for watching games that are being broadcast in other parts of the country but are not necessarily on your local stations. If you live in Miami, for example, and the Chargers game against the Broncos isn't airing on your local CBS affiliate, you can watch it on YouTube through Sunday Ticket. 

Like DirecTV, YouTube TV is a live television service and offers all the major local channels including ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC as well as the NFL Network. While Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV won't let you get the games that air on streaming services like Amazon or ESPN Plus, it could make Google's television service a go-to destination to stream nearly all the NFL action you want.