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NFL Sunday Ticket: Everything you need to know

NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

One year in, and this much is clear: Having NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube and YouTube TV has been a pretty big success. Perhaps that has a little to do with how you measure success. Maybe it’s by the number of direct subscriptions. Or maybe it’s by the number of subscriptions Sunday Ticket has helped add to YouTube TV. Or maybe it’s by the amount of advertising revenue Google has been able to bring in through one of the biggest sports in the United States.

Or maybe — if you’re a consumer of such things — it’s that you’re now able to watch out-of-market NFL games from wherever you happen to live, without requiring a lengthy contract, and a satellite dish.

That’s the importance of this new era of NFL Sunday Ticket, which in 2024 enters its second season on YouTube and YouTube TV.

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It’s also a huge deal for the Google/Alphabet-owned properties. They’re no stranger to live sports, having advertised YouTube TV throughout some of the biggest sporting events around. And while you’ve long been able to watch huge events like the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, FIFA World Cup, and the World Series on YouTube TV, that was via someone else’s broadcast, a la cable. This time, it’s all on Google’s shoulders.

And the YouTube infrastructure is vast. It’s the global service that provides cat videos on demand. (Among other things.) And YouTube TV is the leading live streaming service in the U.S., with more than 8 million subscribers as of early 2024. (The company doesn’t regularly give updates on subscription totals, but nobody’s gotten close.)

So, yeah. It’s a big deal that NFL Sunday Ticket is on YouTube and YouTube TV.

NFL Sunday Ticket on a TV.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

How to get NFL Sunday Ticket

Again, to spell it out, you have two options by which you can subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket.

  • NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV: This is the full smash. You get more than 100 linear channels, plus unlimited recording, and your local broadcast channels. And you’ll get NFL Sunday Ticket.
  • NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube: You’ll subscribe via YouTube proper. (This also is referred to as YouTube Primetime Channels.) No extra linear channels. No broadcast channels. Just YouTube. And NFL Sunday Ticket.

NFL RedZone — basically a channel of live scoring attempts as they’re happening — is still be available on the YouTube and YouTube TV options, but for separate fees. For the latter, it’s also available as part of the $11-a-month Sports Plus add-on.

How much does NFL Sunday Ticket cost?

NFL Sunday Ticket is not a cheap subscription. That’s by design. A full season still costs several hundred dollars. The good news? You can now pay for NFL Sunday Ticket monthly, and not just all at once. (That’ll be good whether you’re watching on YouTube TV or on YouTube proper, though it’s not available in Georgia, New York, Minnesota, Nevada, Missouri, Tennessee, or New Jersey.)

Here’s how the pricing options break down:

  • On YouTube TV: A regular subscription will cost $349 for the season, or $389 if you also want NFL RedZone.
  • On YouTube Primetime Channels: A regular subscription costs $449 for the season, and $489 if you want NFL RedZone.
NFL Sunday Ticket plans as seen on a phone.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

NFL Sunday Ticket discounts

Those prices above are before any discounts. Right now, Google’s taking $50 off the top, which brings the YouTube TV down to $300 total, or about $75 a month for four months. (Or $340 or $85 a month if you want to add NFL RedZone.)

If you want to subscribe via YouTube Primetime Channels (that is, the YouTube proper service), you’ll pay $400 without NFL RedZone, and $439 if you want RedZone.

Both NFL Sunday Ticket discounts are good through September 19, 2023.

For what it’s worth, those prices are a little higher than what DirecTV subscribers paid — the 2022 season cost just shy of $300. And, again, be on the lookout for discounts.

NFL Sunday Ticket free trial

And in a little bit of a surprise move, you also can get an NFL Sunday Ticket free trial when you sign up. It’s good for seven days, which will let you watch one Sunday’s worth of games before you have to commit to several hundred dollars worth of football.

That’s the fine print — you only get the NFL Sunday Ticket free trial if you opt to pay all at once. The monthly option doesn’t allow for it. (Nor does the student plan, but that’s not surprising.)

Otherwise, the NFL Sunday Ticket free trial gets you everything the service has to offer. It’s just that you get the first week for free.

NFL Sunday Ticket student plan

There’s also a method by which you can pay less via an NFL Sunday Ticket student plan. And it’s a significant discount. Eligible students can get NFL Sunday Ticket for $109 for the season. (Or $119 if you also want NFL RedZone.)

There’s some fine print, of course. You have to be 18 years old, and be enrolled as a student at an accredited college or university. That will be verified by SheerID. So you can’t just stick .edu on the end of your email and expect to get the NFL Sunday Ticket student discount.

Can you watch more than one game at a time?

Yes! NFL Sunday Ticket supports as many concurrent streams as you want. So you can watch a game on your living room TV while someone else is watching another game in the kitchen or bedroom. (Or both.) Or someone could be watching on their phone. (Note that the student plan is limited to a single stream, though.)

And then there’s multiview: That’s the feature that lets you watch up to four games at once on the same TV, and switch things around at your leisure, so you can swap games as one gets more exciting. Multiview is one of the best features on YouTube TV. And YouTube TV is in the midst of fixing one of our biggest issues with multiview.)

NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV.
Google / Google

Can you get a refund on NFL Sunday Ticket?

Nope. There is no way to refund NFL Sunday Ticket. Once you buy it, it’s yours. There are no refunds or cancellations.

Does NFL Sunday Ticket automatically renew?

This part’s important, because we’re talking about several hundred dollars. So pay attention.

If you subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket via YouTube TV, it’s for a single season only. There’s no automatic renewal, and you’ll have to sign up again for the 2024-25 season.

But if you sign up via YouTube Primetime Channels, your NFL Sunday Ticket will automatically renew until you cancel it. That’s odd and annoying, but it’s the way it is for now. Consider yourself warned.

NFL Sunday Ticket info as seen on a TV.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Will there be blackouts?

According to the current YouTube TV terms and conditions, blackouts are still possible if the home game doesn’t sell out. (As in sell out all of its tickets.) In that case, the game would be unavailable in that region.

YouTube TV uses your billing address ZIP code to determine this — but it’s also possible that it’ll use your phone’s location data if you’re away from home but still within a blackout zone. “If there is an outage in your location,” the T&Cs say, “we’ll do our best to let you know.”

The more things change, the more they stay the same, apparently.

Will there be team packages?

There was a good bit of scuttlebutt about whether NFL Sunday Ticket will be available in any other forms, now that it’s making the leap to a more progressive digital platform.

The short answer is that there won’t be team packages or single-game purchases. It’s all or nothing.

The confusion came mostly from an initial lack of details. And on an episode of The Marchand & Ourand Sports Media Podcast, NFL chief media and business officer Brian Rolapp said that some of the details are still in the works and that other options may be possible. “I don’t know that we’ll go team by team,” Rolapp said. “But could you get fewer games at a lesser price? I think that’s all up for debate and conversation.”

But in a FAQ posted to Reddit and at YouTube TV’s help pages, a YouTube TV community manager wrote that “We aren’t currently offering student discounts or single team/individual game purchasing options.”

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Phil Nickinson
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