YouTube TV hasn’t ruled out a potential bid on NBA rights, but for now the video-sharing company plans to refine its NFL Sunday Ticket. Disney/ESPN and Warner Bros. Discovery currently NBA domestic rights but contracts will be up for renewal following the 2024-2025 season. In addition, more streaming services have entered the live sports business which raises questions about future rights deals.
“We’re taking it one step at a time right now,” Neal Mohan, YouTube’s CEO said at Bloomberg’s Screentime event. “We have the NFL. Sunday Ticket is a big area of focus for us, getting that viewer experience right, making that game-day experience on Sunday flawless and seamless. And you should expect from us more innovation there, in terms of products, creator integrations, all the things that our fans — especially younger fans of the NFL on YouTube — expect.”
YouTube TV’s NFL Sunday Ticket games package held its own during the first Sunday game of the NFL season in September. Many doubted YouTube TV’s ability to handle the viewer demand, especially with the risky extra step Google took in offering a free trial of the service the same weekend. If Google chooses to pursue other partnerships later on — NBA or otherwise — the package’s success could be an advantage.
While users voiced their satisfaction with Sunday Ticket, the service wasn’t without a few complaints, namely that you couldn’t pick what games were included with the multiview. Instead, YouTube and YouTube TV offered 40 premade multivew feeds. Mohan’s plan to refine Sunday Ticket could work out these kinks.
YouTube TV’s NFL Sunday Ticket lets sports fans watch live, out of market games every Sunday. Customers can subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket + YouTube TV for $349 a year with an active YouTube TV base plan ($72.99 a month.) YouTube TV also offers NFL Sunday Ticket + NFL Redzone + YouTube TV for $389 a year with an active YouTube TV base plan. If you subscribe before October 31, you’ll get three months of Max, formerly HBO Max.
YouTube wasn’t immediately available for comment.