The 2023 NFL season kicks off on Sept. 7, and football fans around the country are eagerly anticipating another thrilling season of touchdowns, tackles and unforgettable moments. For many, watching NFL games is a cherished tradition, and having access to all the action is a top priority.
With YouTube TV’s recent acquisition of the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket, a service long exclusive to DirecTV, the streaming landscape for football aficionados has taken an interesting turn. But the question remains: Is YouTube TV worth paying for, especially with the addition of the coveted NFL Sunday Ticket?
YouTube TV: A Brief Overview
YouTube TV is a popular live TV streaming service that offers subscribers access to a variety of television channels, including sports networks like ESPN, FOX Sports and CBS Sports. With a cloud DVR feature and the ability to stream on multiple devices, it has quickly become a favorite for cord-cutters seeking a comprehensive live TV solution.
YouTube TV vs. Similar Services
When it comes to pricing, YouTube TV’s subscription cost is competitive within the streaming television market. However, it’s essential to compare it to other similar services to determine its worth, especially with the inclusion of the NFL Sunday Ticket.
For context, YouTube TV’s base plan subscription, which includes access to over 100 channels, comes at a monthly cost of $72.99. This provides subscribers with not only a broad range of entertainment options but also access to major sports networks. In comparison, services like Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV offer similar channel lineups at comparable prices.
The channels and services included with each of these differ, so you should compare carefully before committing to the subscription.
The Game-Changer: NFL Sunday Ticket
The real game-changer for YouTube TV is the addition of the NFL Sunday Ticket. Historically, DirecTV held exclusive rights to this service, which allows subscribers to watch out-of-market NFL games. However, with YouTube TV securing these rights for the 2023 season, football fans have a decision to make if they want to catch all the action.
If you absolutely must have Sunday Ticket, YouTube TV is the only way to get it.
YouTube TV offers a couple of different ways to get Sunday Ticket. You can either purchase it as an add-on to your subscription, for an extra $74.75 per month for four months (or $299 as a lump sum); or as a standalone service, for $99.75 per month for four months ($399 as a lump sum). If you purchase it as an add-on you’ll be paying the standard subscription cost, too, so it would be a total of nearly $150 per month for access to YouTube TV and Sunday Ticket.
For a limited time, YouTube TV is also offering four months of Max if you bundle Sunday Ticket with your YouTube TV subscription.
Both options allow you to include NFL RedZone as well, for an additional cost. RedZone provides ad-free, fast-paced coverage of all the touchdowns and most exciting moments from every Sunday game. While it doesn’t replace the comprehensive coverage of NFL Sunday Ticket, NFL RedZone aims to provide a condensed, high-energy viewing experience for those who want to stay up to date with the most crucial moments of each game.
NFL RedZone is available through numerous cable and streaming providers. You can also subscribe to it directly from the NFL, via their NFL+ service. But if you want to get it through YouTube TV, you must also sign up for Sunday Ticket.
The Bottom Line
“Using an antenna is still the cheapest way to watch the NFL overall,” said Chris Brantner, head streaming analyst at Sportscriber.com. “And using an antenna plus NFL Sunday Ticket is the only way to watch every single game, regardless of blackout restrictions.”
Ultimately, the decision of whether YouTube TV is worth paying for with the addition of the NFL Sunday Ticket depends on your preferences and priorities. For die-hard NFL fans who wish to catch every game, particularly those outside of their market, the inclusion of the NFL Sunday Ticket can be a significant selling point. If you absolutely must have Sunday Ticket, then you’re going to have to follow it to YouTube TV. With competitive pricing and a comprehensive channel lineup, it’s a strong contender in the realm of live TV streaming services.
More From GOBankingRates