Google’s YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels will be the exclusive home to out-of-market NFL games starting next season, the league and YouTube jointly announced Thursday morning, as the world’s largest technology and streaming companies continue to push into live sports.
Many considered Apple the favorite to land Sunday Ticket before Google emerged as the frontrunner and Apple reportedly declined to increase its bid. NFL games consistently draw more U.S. viewers than any other live or scripted broadcasts, setting the stage for a spar over their rights between the world’s first (Apple, $2.1 trillion), fourth (Alphabet, $1.1 trillion) and fifth (Amazon, $856 billion) most valuable companies by market capitalization. The NFL began exclusively streaming its Thursday Night Football broadcasts on Amazon Prime this fall, bringing in a younger audience and driving record Prime signups. YouTube’s ability to navigate the “changing media landscape” helps ensure “more games are available to more fans,” Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots and head of the NFL owner’s media committee, said in a statement accompanying the announcement.
Five million. That’s how many YouTube TV subscribers there are, according to the company’s latest public estimates, making it the country’s most popular live TV streaming service. Plans for YouTube TV start at $64.99 per month.
YouTube Cements Its TV Shift With NFL Sunday Ticket Deal (Wall Street Journal)