New England Patriots tight end Hunter Henry (85) celebrates his touchdown run against the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium, Oct. 16, 2022.
Scott Galvin | USA Today Sports | Reuters
The National Football League is finalizing a deal for the rights to its subscription-only package of games known as Sunday Ticket with Google’s YouTube TV, according to people familiar with the matter.
The league has been in negotiations for months for the rights to the package, long held by DirecTV, with the aim of inking an agreement with a streaming service to broaden the NFL’s reach and partnership.
The deal, however, will not include a stake in NFL Media, which includes the linear cable channels NFL Network and RedZone, which the league has been shopping alongside the Sunday Ticket rights, one of the people said. The sources asked not to be named because discussions are ongoing.
The Wall Street Journal reported on the current status of the talks earlier. An NFL spokesperson declined to comment, and Google didn’t respond to requests for comment.
NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell previously said while the NFL was packing the minority stake with Sunday Ticket, it could decide to sell each property separately.
Terms of the deal were still being ironed out Tuesday, the people said. DirecTV has been paying $1.5 billion annually since 2015. The NFL has been seeking a buyer for Sunday Ticket willing to pay between $2 billion and $3 billion.
Goodell said earlier that the league aimed to announce a rights deal with Sunday Ticket by the end of the fall. The Sunday Ticket package has been the NFL’s only set of media rights that has yet to be renewed through 2030.
The deal with YouTube TV comes after various media operators, including Amazon, Apple and Disney’s ESPN, considered the rights to the property.
The NFL was in close talks with Apple until recently, the people said. However, existing restrictions around Sunday Ticket had slowed negotiations with Apple in recent months, CNBC previously reported.
The league has been looking to diversify its partnerships with media companies and have a bigger presence in streaming.
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