For months, football fans have yearned for information on the future of NFL Sunday Ticket. For well over two decades, DirecTV held exclusive rights to air the entire slate of NFL action, allowing the service to keep a large subscriber base dedicated to one specific pursuit of professional football. However, reporting has circulated that bidders like Apple, Amazon, and ESPN had interest in acquiring Sunday Ticket’s rights.
On Tuesday, Joe Flint of the Wall Street Journal dropped a bomb that the NFL is now in “advanced talks” with YouTube to secure the exclusive rights.
YouTube, which is owned by Google, was considered a sleeper in the negotiations, and it is worth remembering that Google has virtually unlimited pockets. This would be a major overture from the company to get into the market for the most popular sporting enterprise in the United States, and Flint reports that an agreement could be locked in “as early as Wednesday,” pending approval of NFL owners.
At this juncture, additional details are sparse, but this is a situation worth monitoring closely in terms of pricing, rollout, and any potential changes made in the package’s conversion to a digitally-focused platform. In the meantime, football fans may need to prepare to invest in YouTube’s offering to find their favorite team’s games.