The National Football League is in advanced talks to give Google’s YouTube, part of Alphabet Inc.
exclusive rights to “Sunday Ticket,” a subscription-only package that allows football fans to watch most Sunday afternoon games, people familiar with the matter said. An agreement could be reached as early as Wednesday, following a meeting of NFL owners, who approve rights deals.
Terms being discussed for the agreement couldn’t immediately be learned. Satellite broadcaster DirecTV, which is co-owned by AT&T Inc.
and private-equity firm TPG Inc., currently pays $1.5 billion annually for Sunday Ticket rights, The Wall Street Journal has reported. Sunday Ticket allows subscribers to view all “out of market” Sunday afternoon games, meaning games that don’t involve their local teams. A potential move of Sunday Ticket to YouTube is further evidence of major sports migrating from traditional TV, which has been hit by cord-cutting, to streaming and tech companies that are willing to spend heavily on content. Amazon.com Inc.
has its own NFL deal, while Apple Inc.
streams some Major League Baseball games and has a new deal for Major League Soccer. The addition of Sunday Ticket would provide a boost to YouTube’s streaming efforts as the video platform attempts to broaden beyond advertising sales into subscription revenue. An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com. Also popular on WSJ.com: Big changes to 401(k) retirement plans move ahead in Congress. The five emails you need to send before New Year’s to boost your career.