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NFL Sunday Ticket Moves To YouTube TV

Hardcore fans of the NFL who are cursed by the vagaries of local television markets not to be able to watch their favorite team in action (as well as sports bar owners who want to have every game beamed in on separate TVs) have had the NFL Sunday Ticket programming package to rely on for almost 30 years, since it made its debut on DirecTV in 1994 (per ABC). But now, the news comes that this lucrative arrangement, for which DirecTV has been paying $1.5 billion over its most recent eight-year contract, is now about to change.

Fans who depend on NFL Sunday Ticket to be able to watch their favorite teams from week to week will soon have to look elsewhere to find the service — and it may mean dropping their DirecTV subscription. Instead, the next NFL season will see Sunday Ticket as a new add-on package available on YouTube TV.

The deal is reportedly worth some $2 billion

CNBC reports that the deal for NFL Sunday Ticket to become a part of YouTube TV is worth approximately $2 billion, but it isn't known yet how much the service will actually cost individual consumers.

While it might be a bit shocking to see such a longstanding part of DirecTV programming moved to another service, the news isn't a complete surprise. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell hinted at a move to an unnamed streaming platform over the summer, and confirmed it in his recent press release announcing the news. "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," said Goodell. The news comes as Netflix appears to be resisting the incorporation of major live sports streaming onto their own streaming platform.

While the consumer price for the new NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube hasn't been publicly announced, it will reportedly be available as part of an add-on package for YouTube's premium subscription tier YouTube TV, or as a standalone a-la-carte option on the upcoming YouTube Primetime Channels, a new service that will let viewers watch content from various streaming platforms on YouTube.