YouTube has released the initial pricing for its new ‘Sunday Ticket’ NFL broadcasts, which is part of its expanded push to win over more YouTube TV subscribers, and take up a bigger share of the traditional TV ad market.
But it’s pretty pricey right now, which could keep many viewers on the sidelines.
As per YouTube:
“For our YouTube TV members with a Base Plan, the NFL Sunday Ticket add-on is available during the presale at $249 for the season, a special launch offer savings of $100 off the retail price of $349 for the season. We are also offering a bundle option with NFL Sunday Ticket and NFL RedZone for a total of $289 for the season during the presale, another launch offer of $100 off the retail price of $389 for the season. Fans who sign up for NFL Sunday Ticket with the YouTube TV Base Plan will have access to not only 100+ live channels, but also every Sunday game, including local, national, and out-of-market games.
To clarify, the cheapest price for YouTube’s Sunday Ticket NFL broadcasts, for the full season, is $249 per year, but that’s with an existing YouTube TV subscription, which currently costs $72.99 per month. So you’re looking at over $1,000 per year to catch these exclusive NFL broadcasts, with a range of variable pricing on top of that, depending on your choices.
The high price point reflects the costs that YouTube is taking on to host NFL content, with the platform reportedly paying around $2 billion for the rights, after a bidding war with competitors. YouTube says that it is working with the NFL to improve its broadcast offerings, but at this stage, it‘s a costly add-on – though the reliability of YouTube as a streaming service could see fans willing to pay up, which could also help to build YouTube’s TV presence, and facilitate more opportunities.
People watching YouTube content on their home TV sets has been the platform’s fastest-growing usage category over the past five years, which is helping YouTube to evolve from an online video platform, to a fully-fledged TV alternative. Indeed, these days, many young people never watch traditional TV at all, and the more that YouTube can win over this market, the more it solidifies its position as the key advertising platform for maximum reach.
Sports content could play a big part in this, while YouTube’s also developing new sports viewing experiences, like Multiview, which will enable fans to watch multiple games at once.
That too could become a key element. More and more younger users are growing accustomed to consuming multiple media inputs at one time, and the capacity to view several things on the big screen could be a big lure in getting more viewers more interested in YouTube’s TV offerings.
And as noted, for advertisers, that could be a big win, which may eventually propel YouTube to the peak of ad targeting, in order to maximize reach.
It’s a pricey gamble for now, but it’s the first stage in a broader push from YouTube to expand its footprint.