Football fans with the popular Sunday Ticket package will have to make a switch next season to keep access to all those games. Google's YouTube has outbid DirecTV and acquired the rights, reports the Wall Street Journal. The latter company currently pays the NFL $1.5 billion a year for the privilege, but the Journal and CNBC report that YouTube will pay about $2 billion a year in what's believed to be a seven-year deal. Customers will be able to buy the package as a stand-alone offer from YouTube Primetime Channels or as an add-on to a YouTube TV subscription, per Axios. Prices haven't been set.
The development is seen as another big step in the shift from traditional TV watching to streaming. Amazon previously acquired the rights to the NFL's Thursday night game for its Prime subscribers. Amazon also bid for the Sunday Ticket, as did Apple and Disney's ESPN, but YouTube apparently came up with the most lucrative offer. YouTube TV—its current annual subscription is $64.99—is described by CNBC as "an internet bundle of broadcast and cable networks that mirrors a traditional linear pay-TV operator." This summer, it passed the milestone of 5 million subscribers. (Read more YouTube stories.)