YouTube TV strikes carriage deal for NFL Network and RedZone
American football’s NFL has signed a new carriage deal with video streaming giant YouTube, which entails NFL Network, the 24/7 channel fully owned by the league, becoming available on subscription streaming television service YouTube TV.
Signed ahead of the start of the NFL regular season on 10 September, the deal with NFL Media means that YouTube TV subscribers will have access to both NFL Network and NFL RedZone, the channel featuring live action cut-ins as teams approach the opposition’s end zone.
NFL Network becomes part of YouTube TV's basic bundle, priced at $64.99 per month, while NFL RedZone has been included in the add-on package SportPlus, which was launched on Thursday.
YouTube TV already offers various channels that offer live NFL games, including those of CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC.
SportPlus, which will cost an additional $10.99 per month for subscribers, also features six other sports channels in Fox College Sports, GolTV, Fox Soccer Plus, MAVTV Motorsports Network, TVG and Stadium.
With the addition of NFL Network, YouTube TV subscribers will have access to exclusive match action, studio shows and behind-the-scenes documentary series.
The content will be available through both digital and mobile platforms, and across all devices.
Hans Schroeder, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of NFL Media, said: “The opportunity to give NFL Network and NFL RedZone the broadest distribution as possible to our fans remains a top priority for us, so we're pleased to bring our lineup of exclusive live games, informative shows and award-winning content to the YouTube TV channel lineup."
Lori Conkling, global head of partnerships at YouTube TV, added: “Sports fans have been some of our most passionate members since we launched YouTube TV… this partnership further demonstrates our commitment to offer a premium portfolio of content.”
NFL Network already has carriage and distribution deals in place with major cable, satellite and telecoms providers throughout USA, including DirecTV, Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum, Verizon FiOS, Fubo TV, Altice USA Optimum and Cox Communications.
In April this year, the NFL broadcast its 2020 draft, which took place virtually due to social distancing rules in place amid the coronavirus pandemic, through its own YouTube channels.
That event, which was also broadcast by Walt Disney-owned ESPN and ABC, drew its highest audience ever.
In the same month, online retail giant Amazon extended its streaming rights deal with the NFL for a further three seasons.
This entails continued worldwide streaming of the 11 Thursday Night Football games that are broadcast in USA by Fox, plus an exclusive Saturday night game in the second half of the regular season.