The video platform YouTube has acquired rights to broadcast matches of the NFL American football championship in the United States, according to a press release published on Thursday. A first for its parent company Google, which illustrates the rise of streaming in sport. According to several American media, Google will pay about two billion dollars a year, over seven years, to be able to retransmit the matches played on Sundays, via its paid video service YouTube TV, which is only available in the United States.
Reach a younger audience
To access meetings in this way, subscribers to the YouTube TV channel package will have to pay an additional sum to the price of their subscription. They will not be able to view matches played in their immediate geographic area, i.e. their home team, which are subject to a separate contract. The contract does not ensure exclusivity because the two national channels Fox and CBS already jointly hold the rights to these meetings and will continue to broadcast them in the United States.
NFL boss Roger Goodell, quoted in the statement, hailed the start of a “new era in how fans access the NFL” and watch games. The NFL has developed, for many years, the distribution of its content on YouTube, with game summaries and videos showing the best actions of a championship day. This is an opportunity for her to reach a younger audience, more attracted by short videos than the retransmission of a match which lasts, on average, more than three hours because punctuated by very many stoppages.
Boost YouTube TV Spectrum
For New England Patriots team owner Robert Kraft, quoted in the press release, this agreement “will allow more games to be accessible to more fans”. And to add: “This partnership will enable the growth of our sport through future generations. The official NFL YouTube channel, which has more than 10 million subscribers, also regularly uploads short behind-the-scenes footage of the world’s most powerful sports league. The NFL also intends to add value to this new collaboration by making it easier for YouTube to access official content and by associating YouTube creators with events.
The broadcasting rights acquired by YouTube from 2023 have so far been owned by satellite operator DirecTV, which pays around $ 1.5 billion a year to the NFL, according to several American media. For YouTube, this new contract should make it possible to further increase the spectrum of YouTube TV, which already claims more than 5 million subscribers. In addition to YouTube TV, users of the platform will be able to access match broadcast channels through Primetime Channels, an on-demand channel platform.