This is the first year YouTube and YouTube TV have offered the NFL Sunday Ticket. Before that, DIRECTV was the exclusive home for the NFL Sunday Ticket service that let customers watch every Sunday afternoon game even if it was not shown in their area. Now Bloomberg is reporting that YouTube TV has hit 1.3 million subscribers, a jump over DIRECTV’s 1.2 million last year.
The best news for Google was 41% of NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers were also new YouTube TV customers. That works out to be about 533,000 new YouTube TV customers paying $72.99 a month for the service on top of the cost of NFL Sunday Ticket. This could help explain why YouTube TV is reportedly the only live TV service that is seeing growth. Comcast, Spectrum, DISH, Hulu, Fubo, DIRECTV, and more all lost subscribers in 2023, but YouTube TV reportedly added subscribers.
YouTube TV reportedly added over 300,000 new subscribers in the first half of 2023. This comes as all live TV services, including streaming, cable TV, and satellite, lost over 3.9 million customers in the first half of 2023. YouTube TV was the only TV service to add subscribers during that time, according to the Leichtman Research Group.
This is the first year of Google’s deal to offer NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV and YouTube. So far the early numbers look good as it is helping them drive subscribers not just to NFL Sunday Ticket but also to YouTube TV. The additional 533,000 YouTube TV customers has brought in an additional $38.9 million in revenue just from the YouTube TV subscription.
Google has a long ways to go if it hopes to get back the $14 billion it paid for NFL Sunday Ticket rights, but so far, 2023 was a good step to make that happen. It is very possible that without NFL Sunday Ticket YouTube TV would be just one more service losing subscribers.