YouTube will pay billions annually to secure rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket franchise. The subscription-based Sunday Ticket allows customers access to all Sunday afternoon games for out-of-market teams.
Google's video platform will license the residential rights for seven years, which is valued at about $2 billion per season, but the NFL will also seek to license commercial rights for bars and restaurants for an additional $200 million, according to one report.
YouTube, which began as a video platform, made a mark in streaming services through bundles and prime sports programming. Despite the video platform seeing slowing advertising placements, it now has more than two billion monthly users and at least five million subscribers and trial accounts for YouTube TV, its online cable bundle, as of June 2022.
Neal Mohan, chief product officer at YouTube, told the WSJ that “technological and product innovation is one of the things that is particularly exciting about bringing this type of content. We’ll be able to showcase these NFL games in a way that I think no other platform can.”By 2024, 70% of brands will redeploy at least 10% of their media budget to product placement in entertainment content such as streaming TV, according to research firm Gartner.
"The migration of NFL Sunday Ticket from satellite to internet distribution underscores that TV is now a streaming-first medium," said. Eric Schmitt, senior director analyst in the Gartner Marketing Practice. "Marketers must act now to modernize TV advertising planning and measurement, and significantly dial back historical assumptions about the reach and impact of cable, satellite and broadcast TV."
YouTube has battled Apple, Amazon, DirectTV, Netflix and others to take the top spot for years.
DirecTV pays the National Football League an average fee of $1.5 billion per season for both residential and commercial rights, according to the WSJ.
The goal is for YouTube to offer Sunday Ticket as an add-on to YouTube TV and in the video platform’s main app through a service called Primetime Channels. The service allows viewers to subscribe to individual channels.
"We’re excited to bring NFL Sunday Ticket to YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels and usher in a new era of how fans across the United States watch and follow the NFL," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated. "For a number of years, we have been focused on increased digital distribution of our games and this partnership is yet another example of us looking towards the future and building the next generation of NFL fans."
As part of the agreement, YouTube and the NFL will create and provide access to exclusive content and attendance opportunities for select YouTube Creators at key NFL tentpole events.
YouTube is now also the presenting sponsor of both Back Together Saturday as well as NFL Kickoff Weekend.
Back Together Saturday is the League’s official start to training camp when all 32 NFL clubs hold practices with club-led fan events. YouTube’s presenting sponsorship of NFL Kickoff Weekend marks the first time a League partner will have a presence from the kickoff of the season on Thursday night through the weekend games and Monday night, driving excitement for the start of the season.
Laurie, regarding Sunday Ticket, while I'm sure that YouTube is pleased to have this package as a way to attract subs for YouTube TV or audiences generally, it's hardly a big deal as these games are of relatively little interest to most NFL buffs. How many Cincinnati Bengals fans will be regular viewers of Sunday Ticket when it wont show them their own team in action. Which is why this particular packge of content is not on the broadcast TV networks or ESPN. It's a marginal item ---although one can't blame the NFL if it can sell it to Direct TV and now to YouTube for $2 billion per year.
I also found the Gartner comment about product placement interesting. This form of "advertising" has been around for a long time---especially in the movie business but also TV---both linear and streaming.But it's usually not funded from the branding campaign budget and is handled by the sales promotion people. In other words, product placement will probably not cut into the TV ad spending of most brands---which is not to say that it can't be a valuable promotional tool.