The NFL Sunday Ticket package is heading to YouTube this fall, but it will not be cheaper than the old DirecTV one for many. YouTube opened that package up for subscriptions Tuesday and announced its pricing plans, as Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal relayed:
$349 for the season with YouTube TV.
$449 without YouTube TV.
DirecTV was $289 for the year.
Obvious intent is to steer subs to YouTube TV, we’ll see if the $100 discount is enough for that.
— Ben Fischer (@BenFischerSBJ) April 11, 2023
The early bird strategy here is notable for a couple reasons. First, that has YouTube trying quite hard to get subscriber numbers to this up well before the season. There’s also potentially a gain for them from the YouTube TV side. The best discounts here are with YouTube TV, but that service now costs $73 a month itself following their latest price hike earlier this year. And a big deal with virtual multichannel video providers like YouTube TV is churn; without long-term contracts for subscribers, those vMPVDs see a lot of month-to-month turnover. But this particular pricing setup may encourage people to buy the full YouTube TV package before June and then keep it at least through the football season. (It’s also worth mentioning that despite talk of single-team or single-game packages, or cheaper partial packages, neither of those is being offered yet.)
It is also notable that, as expected, the NFL Sunday Ticket package here will include YouTube TV’s Mosaic Mode multiview options. YouTube chief product officer Neal Mohan said in December that users should “expect” that functionality by the fall, and the service rolled it out during the NCAA Tournament (albeit in a limited way at first). Here’s more on what to expect on that for Sunday Ticket, from a YouTube blog post by Christian Oestlien, Google’s vice president of product management for YouTube TV and connected TV:
Our teams have been hard at work building a great experience for fans as we inch closer to the 2023 NFL season. On YouTube TV, members will have access to features like the brand new multiview as well as unlimited DVR storage, personalized recommendations, the ability to view key plays, NFL Fantasy data, real time stats and hide spoilers.
And we’re also bringing some of these innovations to NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube Primetime Channels, such as key plays and multiview. Users who subscribe through Primetime Channels will see live NFL games featured prominently in their feeds, so they can quickly jump into the action on game days, directly on YouTube. We are also working on adding shopping integrations so viewers can easily buy merchandise to support their teams, and social features that YouTube users are already familiar with, like chat, polls, and more.
We’ll see how this rollout goes for YouTube, and how many people wind up subscribing to Sunday Ticket with them.