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YouTube TV Adds NFL Channel

Patrick Mahomes celebrates the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl LIV victory on Feb. 2, 2020.
(Image credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The National Football League is charging ahead with its 2020 season, and YouTube TV plans to be along for the risky ride. 

Google’s virtual MVPD service announced Thursday that it has reached a carriage deal with the league to put the NFL Network in its $65-a-month, 85-plus channel bundle, in time for the cable network’s coverage of the September 10 Thursday Night Football opener that features the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans in an Arrowhead Stadium bereft of fans. 

YouTube TV also announced the addition of a new $11-a-month “Sports Plus” add-on pack, which includes NFL Red Zone, Fox College Sports, GolTV, Fox Soccer Plus, MAVTV Motorsports Network, TVG and Stadium. 

The NFL Network further builds on YouTube TV’s core sports offering, which already includes ESPN, ESPN 2, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, NBC Sports, CBS Sports, NBA TV, MLB Game of the Week and the Big Ten Network. 

With the abdication in June of NFL Network by Sling TV and parent company Dish Network, YouTube TV is the only vMVPD, besides fuboTV and Vidgo, to carry the network.

Of course, this could turn out to be a pick-six going the other way for Google if, say, the NFL finds that it can’t sustain a game in which 22 players engage in a highly physical contact sport amid a dangerous pandemic, and YouTube TV’s $65 price point has to give once again under the weight of more program license costs increases. 

But for now, everyone is excited!

“We are excited to bring NFL Network and NFL RedZone to YouTube TV subscribers, just in time for kickoff of the NFL’s 2020 season,” NFL Media executive VP and chief operating officer Hans Schroeder said, in a statement. “The opportunity to give NFL Network and NFL RedZone the broadest distribution as possible to our fans remains a top priority for us, so we’re pleased to bring our lineup of exclusive live games, informative shows and award-winning content to the YouTube TV channel lineup.”