Now that Google’s YouTube has inked a massive multi-year deal for “NFL Sunday Ticket” -- for $2 billion-plus a year, according to reports -- one major question is how much the price will rise for consumers.In a September survey of 2,562 NFL consumers, The Streamable, a publication focusing on streaming media platforms, reported that only 26% of fans were willing to pay up to the current $300 base price for NFL Sunday Ticket -- a season long, out-of-market package of essentially all live airings of NFL games.
At the same time, more broadly, the survey finds about half of those surveyed would buy -- or were likely to buy -- the pricey NFL package.
DirecTV, the current rights holder, charges a base price of $293.94 for “Sunday Ticket” for an NFL season, rising to $395.94 a season for “NFL Sunday Ticket Max” package, which includes the Red Zone channel and the DirecTV Fantasy Zone channel.
Red Zone Channel, a commercial-free channel, shows every touchdown from every game. Fantasy Zone focuses on statistical measures by players and teams. In its final year with the package, DirecTV is offering “Sunday Ticket” free to some high-paying subscribers.
“Given the current restrictions in the package, it is unlikely that YouTube will be able to drop the price much lower,” according to The Streamable. “However, a base price $150 to $200 [a month] could increase potential subscribers by 1.67 times to 1.94 times in comparison to the current $300 base price.”
In its announcement with the NFL on Thursday YouTube did not disclose any consumer pricing for NFL Sunday Ticket.
DirecTV's current annual rights fees for “Sunday Ticket” are around $1.5 billion -- posting around $500 million a year in losses, according to reports.
Analysts have been concerned about massive ongoing financial costs for the package -- and the lack of flexibility. That is one reason why Apple TV+ dropped out of the running for the package, according to reports.
Before YouTube ascended to the top position to secure the Sunday Ticket deal earlier this week, Apple TV+ was the presumed likely candidate for the Sunday Ticket package.
NFL’s deal for “Sunday Ticket” with the Google-owned video service allows consumers to access the games on YouTube TV, a virtual pay TV provider with around 5 million subscribers, which costs $65 a month.
In addition, the package can also be available on YouTube Primetime Channels -- an a la carte service where consumers can buy individual streaming services -- as well as for viewers watching TV programs on YouTube. The entire YouTube package starts up next year.
A more recent survey of 5,018 football consumers from The Streamable found that nearly two-thirds of NFL fans were likely to subscribe to Sunday Ticket if it went on one of two platforms -- with 35% saying they were likely to subscribe it went on to YouTube and 29% saying they'd be likely to if it went on to Amazon Prime Video.