YouTube TV to offer NFL Sunday Ticket-Max bundle

YouTube TV is to offer NFL Sunday Ticket-Max bundle after teaming up with Google and Warner Bros. Discovery. They plan to introduce a YouTube TV off that bundles NFL Sunday Ticket and Max SVOD service.

Philipp Schindler, SVP and CBO at Google, disclosed the pairing Wednesday during Google/YouTube- parent Alphabet’s second quarter earnings call but didn’t yet share any details on pricing or timing.

“With Warner Bros. Discovery, we expanded our multiyear relationship across our entire Android ecosystem, including partnering on the launch of Max, a deepened, mutually-beneficial relationship on Google TV and plans to work together on new surfaces,” Schindler said. “YouTube’s expanded deal for Max, inclusive of a Max/NFL Sunday Ticket bundle on YouTube TV, also underscores our joint commitment to bring the highest quality content and experiences to our customers.”

Google nabbed the rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket package last year under a seven-year deal, for a reported $2 billion-$2.5 billion annual price tag to distribute the out-of-market pro football package. Virtual MVPD YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels via an a la carte option are serving as the football package’s exclusive homes. In April YouTube disclosed Sunday Ticket pricing for the 2023 season of $349 as an add-on to YouTube TV’s base package, but is currently running promotional pricing of $299 through September 19. YouTube TV’s existing base package saw an $8 price bump in March to around $73 per month.

The a la carte version of Sunday Ticket via Primetime Channels retails at $449 but currently also offers a $50 off promotional discount. Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max (rebranded from HBO Max after a revamped app launched in May that integrated Discovery+ content) costs $10 per month for an ad-lite plan, $16 per month for ad-free, and $20 per month for the premium tier.  

How the two will price or go to market with the new bundle remains to be seen.

YouTube sees Q2 ad sales growth

Alongside the bundling news, Google reported a positive Q2 for YouTube ad revenue, which after three consecutive quarters of declines, saw 4% growth to reach $7.7 billion in three-month period. Google said the growth was driven by brand advertising, followed by direct response, and reflects continued stabilization in ad spending.

Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat also said the company is prioritizing its product focus on upping quality consumption of video content, both for YouTube Shorts and its connected TV focus in the living room, “which is translating into improved monetization.”

Google debuted new monetization tools with a revenue sharing model for Shorts creators earlier this year, following the introduction of ads on the short-form content in 2022. On Tuesday Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said YouTube Shorts are now watched by over 2 billion logged-in users every month, an increase from 1.5 billion a year ago. And he said the living room continued to be YouTube’s fastest growing screen in 2022 based on watch time.

“We’re reaching more than 150 million people on Connected TV screens in the U.S., and seeing growth and momentum internationally,” Pichai said.

YouTube’s growth areas focus on Shorts, connected TV and its subscription offerings “all of which grew nicely this quarter,” added Schindler.

In Q2 revenue for Google’s massive Services segment grew 5% year over year to $66 billion. Within Services, Other Revenues totaled $8.1 billion. Porat attributed non-advertising other revenue increases primarily from “significant subscriber growth,” which includes YouTube Music Premium and YouTube TV.  Google didn’t break out any new subscriber counts for YouTube TV, which at last official disclosure a year ago had more than 5 million users. As of the end of Q1 2023, Leichtman Research Group estimated the vMVPD had around 5.7 million subscribers.

Content acquisition costs, primarily for YouTube subscription offerings drove costs up, with Other Cost of Revenues increasing 8% year over year to $19.4 billion – contributing to Alphabet’s total costs of $31.9 billion, up 6%. Consolidated revenues in the quarter were up 7% to $74.6 billion, with search continuing to be the largest contributor to revenue growth.  

As Alphabet reported earnings, the company also disclosed that long-time CFO Porat is taking on the new role of president and Chief Investment Officer. Porat will still lead 2024 planning remain in the CFO position as the company searches for a replacement.

“So it’s business as usual now and no change in approach for the future. I look forward to seeing the impact Ruth will have in her new role driving our investments. Ultimately by engaging with our stakeholders and creating opportunities for people and communities everywhere,” Pichai said.

News Source: Stream TV Insider

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