If you thought the NFL Sunday Ticket was somehow going to get cheaper by moving from satellite broadcaster DirecTV to Google-owned streaming video service YouTube — well, think again.
On Tuesday, officials at YouTube formally disclosed the cost of the NFL Sunday Ticket package when it becomes exclusive to the streaming service later this year, which will set streamers back $450 for access to out-of-market Sunday afternoon games played on CBS and Fox stations and affiliates across the country.
The package will be sold through YouTube’s streaming marketplace called PrimeTime Channels, and won’t require a subscription to YouTube Premium or the streaming cable replacement YouTube TV — though the latter will offer NFL Sunday Ticket for less money.
The full cost breakdown of the NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube and YouTube TV is below:
- NFL Sunday Ticket (YouTube): $450 per year
- NFL Sunday Ticket with NFL RedZone (YouTube): $490 per year
- NFL Sunday Ticket (YouTube TV): $350 per year
- NFL Sunday Ticket with NFL RedZone (YouTube TV): $390 per year
From now until June 6, YouTube is offering a special discount for football fans who pre-order NFL Sunday Ticket via YouTube or YouTube TV, knocking $100 off any of the above four packages.
The pricing makes it seem like YouTube TV is the better option for football fans who want a single app to watch NFL Sunday Ticket telecasts, NFL RedZone and nationally-televised football games played on NBC and ESPN (networks that YouTube TV carries). The upfront cost is, in fact, cheaper than the rest, with streamers forking over $423 for NFL Sunday Ticket and a YouTube TV subscription in the first month (or $463 that first month with NFL RedZone), which is lower than the comparable packages offered through YouTube PrimeTime Channels.
But the savings erode in the second month, because fans who purchase NFL Sunday Ticket through YouTube TV have to remain committed to the service throughout the football season — which means they’ll pay at least $73 a month just to maintain their YouTube TV subscription and continued access to NFL Sunday Ticket.
Over the course of five months (October 2023 to February 2024, not including the first payment in September), the total cost of YouTube TV is at least $365, assuming the streamer doesn’t raise prices on customers during that time frame. Overall, it means football fans who pay for NFL Sunday Ticket through YouTube TV will spend anywhere from $788 (without NFL RedZone) to $828 (with NFL RedZone) during the upcoming football season if they tack on NFL Sunday Ticket to their YouTube TV subscription.
The seasonal price is slightly lower for those willing to commit to YouTube TV over the long run and who take advantage of the current presale offer, which puts the seasonal cost of a YouTube TV subscription with NFL Sunday Ticket between $688 (without NFL RedZone) and $728 (with NFL RedZone), again, assuming the streamer doesn’t raise prices on customers during the season.
YouTube says fans who purchase NFL Sunday Ticket won’t receive a refund, even if they buy the package during the presale event through June 6. Which means subscribers looking to save money by bundling NFL Sunday Ticket with YouTube TV are essentially locked into the service until at least next February, or they stand to lose hundreds of dollars by switching to a different service.
For this reason, football fans who don’t want to be locked into YouTube TV over the long term should consider buying NFL Sunday Ticket through YouTube PrimeTime Channels. While the price is $100 more than the package sold through YouTube TV, streamers can save money over the long term by subscribing to Amazon Prime Video (Thursday Night Football games), Comcast’s Peacock (Sunday Night Football games) and ESPN Plus (some Monday Night Football games) to get their football fix. The YouTube option is also better for cord-cutters who have their TV needs met by cheaper cable-like services such as Sling TV and Philo.