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YouTube’s acquisition of NFL Season Ticket Offers Fans New Ways to Watch Football

by Jack Levy, Staff Writer

Courtesy of YouTube

NFL Football is back and millions of fans are ready to watch their favorite teams take on the new season.

In recent years, there has been an increased demand among fans to watch more than just the games offered by their cable provider every Sunday.

 This demand was met with the creation of NFL Sunday Ticket, a package that allows fans to watch every NFL game each Sunday, on DirecTV almost thirty years ago. However, due to the package’s exclusivity to DirecTV, most fans still couldn’t watch more than their local games. 

This has changed this season, however, as the NFL and YoutTube agreed to a seven-year contract for the exclusive rights to the package on Dec. 22, 2022.

This is a major move for YouTube and YouTube TV, which is not only a streaming service, but also aims to be a direct competitor to cable and satellite television. Google, YouTube’s parent company, is paying two billion dollars annually for NFL Sunday Ticket, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Mike Destin, a senior finance major, thought the move from DirectTV to YouTube was smart.

 “Everybody’s already on YouTube,” Destin said “It’s easier to open an app that you’re already used to and buy add-ons for that app than it is to change your entire TV.”

Senior business major Jacob Arato agrees with Destin’s sentiment.

“YouTube was definitely making a marketing and financial power move,” Jacob Arato said. “Far more people use YouTube than DirecTV so more people can have access to it”. 

While the package may seem like a dream come true for the most avid football fans, even offering a multiview that will allow fans to watch up to four games on one screen, a lot of people can’t get over the hefty price. 

Currently, NFL Sunday Ticket is available on YouTube for $399 per year and $299 a year for YouTube TV subscribers. However, students are offered a discounted price of $109 a year.

“For me, it’s not worth it. I guess for somebody who really lives and breathes for NFL Sunday, then yeah it probably would be worth it.” Destin said.

Arato also thought the non-student price was “a little steep” for the average football fan, saying 

“It’s not something I would ever buy at that price personally,” he said.

Currently, gambling on sports is legal in 36 states and as more states legalize sports betting like New York did in 2013, the popularity of NFL Sunday Ticket may increase. 

“If you put money down on someone or some team you’re gonna want to watch them play, it makes the game more exciting,” Destin said.

Even for non-betters, there is an avid fantasy football community that is growing every year. Fantasy football allows fans to draft “fantasy teams” with players from all over the NFL and the game is scored based on the individual performances of those players.

“So many fantasy players are so devout and bought in that they feel like they literally need to watch every game,” said Arato.

Lastly, one more reason for the potential growing popularity of NFL Sunday Ticket is simply “love of the sport” according to Destin. 

“There’s definitely a growing love and passion for the sport,” Destin said. 

While it’s too early to tell if YouTube’s acquisition of NFL Sunday Ticket will be successful, it definitely shows YouTube’s intent to be a legitimate competitor to other streaming services such as Amazon Prime, which has the broadcasting rights to the Thursday night football games for the 2023-24 season. 

For the NFL, it shows their intent to expand into more modern mediums like streaming services, even if it potentially leaves out fans who aren’t subscribed to them.

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