Google Plans To Punch Up ‘NFL Sunday Ticket’ With New Features

NFL Sunday Ticket
(Image credit: Google)

Paying a reported $2.5 billion a season to take over NFL Sunday Ticket from longtime licensor DirecTV, Google plans to modernize the offense. 

“On YouTube TV, we’re building the ability for subscribers to watch multiple screens at once,“ Philipp Schindler, chief business officer for Google, said during parent company Alphabet's Q4 earnings call Thursday. “And on YouTube, we’ll be adding new features specific to the Sunday Ticket experience, like comments, chats, polls, and so on.”  

The new features will include things users can do with social video. 

“On the creator side, imagine all the creative ways they can create with exclusive NFL content, behind-the-scenes event access and so on,” Schindler added. "We’re really excited to see what they will do across long-form, short-form, livestreams and more.”

Google plans to make the NFL’s out-of-market games package an add-on component to its virtual pay TV service, YouTube TV. The company will also offer Sunday Ticket a la carte via YouTube Primetime Channels

The tech giant hasn’t disclosed pricing yet. 

“We think there are a lot of great opportunities to differentiate the user and creator experience with our unique capabilities,” Schindler added. 

With the value proposition for both the NFL and DirecTV waning in the latter years of their Sunday Ticket partnership, as the linear satellite-TV business eroded, the league sought out a streaming partner to take over the franchise ... and hopefully breathe some life back into it. 

For its part, Google continued to say that its YouTube subscriptions business, which is spearheaded by YouTube TV, is growing, although the company didn’t elaborate on the vMVPD’s subscriber expansion. The service is believed to have more than 5 million paid users at this point. 

In terms of advertising, YouTube’s recent position isn't as strong — its ad revenue declined 8% in 2022 to just under $8 billion. ■

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!