NFL considers a cheaper Sunday Ticket offering on YouTube with fewer games

Update on February 13, 2023: During the 2023 Super Bowl, YouTube announced that YouTube TV members would get a discounted price on the Sunday Ticket offering. Customers that don’t have a YouTube TV subscription can still sign up for Sunday Ticket via YouTube’s Primetime Channels option.

YouTube recently became the exclusive streaming rights holder of NFL Sunday Ticket, a sports package that was reportedly bid on by other tech giants Apple and Amazon. While YouTube will likely charge a high price for the NFL Sunday Ticket, there may be a more affordable YouTube offering for viewers that want access to fewer games.

According to NFL’s chief media and business officer, Brian Rolapp, the league is considering a “lighter” NFL Sunday Ticket offering on YouTube and YouTube TV that provides a select number of games for a lower price.

“We’re also thinking about, but haven’t made any decisions, do you create a new product? Do you do a lighter version? We haven’t made any decisions there, but you will see that. I don’t know if we’ll go team-by-team, but could you get fewer games for a lesser price? I think that’s all up for debate and conversation,” Rolapp revealed to the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand and Sports Business Journal reporter John Ourand in their podcast.

Rolapp noted that one reason the NFL struck a streaming deal with YouTube is so the league could make new changes to the Sunday Ticket product. “It’s been distributed for so long. I think there’s probably a lot of opportunity between the ‘all you can eat’ and free television. I think there’s a lot of room there to explore.”

YouTube wasn’t immediately available to comment to TechCrunch.

NFL Sunday Ticket is launching on YouTube and YouTube TV later this year. The company confirmed that it would be available as an add-on package on YouTube TV as well as a standalone offering on YouTube Primetime Channels. Notably, this will be the first time that Sunday Ticket will be available à la carte for viewers.

While pricing details haven’t been announced, it will probably be expensive. NBC Sports reported that “a TV person” estimated that NFL fans would have to pay around $300 per season for Sunday Ticket. DirecTV charges its customers $293.94 per season or $395.94 for the NFL Sunday Ticket Max package with extra content.

YouTube has to pay approximately $2 billion per season for the rights, The Wall Street Journal reported. For comparison, DirecTV paid $1.5 billion.

In Alphabet’s fourth-quarter earnings call, Google’s Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler mentioned plans to launch a feature on YouTube TV that allows viewers to watch on multiple screens at once. He added that YouTube TV customers would get new features specific to the Sunday Ticket experience, such as comments, chats and polls.

Updated 2/10/23 at 3:55 p.m. with correction to DirecTV prices.