YouTube TV’s debut of the NFL Sunday Ticket games package was expected to include a time-lag compared with live TV broadcasts of up to one minute, according to some reports.
However, according to initial user reports on social media and a comparison of CBS’s broadcast versus YouTube TV’s livestream of the Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns on Sunday, there YouTube livestream had a delay of less than 20 seconds.
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“Wow, Sunday Ticket on YouTube is amazing,” one user wrote on X (aka Twitter). “On my phone, the broadcast delay is only 10 seconds … behind AN ANTENNA.” Another user on Sunday lauded YouTube, writing, “Top notch work moving NFL Sunday Ticket over. Truly… No hassles AT ALL. Logging in has been easy, no delays, no weird ‘verify your current playback area’ messages.”
Matt Infante, chief operating officer of media company Pro Football Network, wrote at 1:12 p.m. ET Sunday, “NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube not showing the kind of delay that many feared. So far.”
In a statement to NBC News, Google, parent of YouTube, did not specifically address latency expectations for Sunday Ticket but said “Overall, YouTube TV is built on the infrastructure that powers YouTube and reliably serves billions of playback every day. The YouTube TV team is working on building a high-quality Sunday Ticket experience.”
NBC News’ report cited a study conducted by Phenix Real Time Solutions that found that during for the 2023 Super Bowl this February, there was a time lag of between 23 and 76 seconds between the on-field action and the livestream on internet streaming services.
For example, fans watching the Super Bowl earlier this year on one of six leading digital providers saw the big plays between 23 seconds and 76 seconds after spectators in the stands did, according to an annual study done by Phenix of the lag between real-time action of the NFL title game versus streaming.
Google last year wrested rights to Sunday Ticket from longtime holder DirecTV. Under the seven-year pact, the internet giant will reportedly pay the NFL between $2 billion and $2.5 billion annually.
YouTube initially sold NFL Sunday Ticket for the 2023 season in single-payment plans, and last week introduced a monthly payment plan available in most U.S. states. That offers the NFL Sunday Ticket Primetime Channel for $99.75 per month over four months (for $399 total). Meanwhile, under a partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery, YouTube is offering eligible subscribers four months of the Max tier without ads for free. YouTube also has a distribution deal with Verizon, which is giving away Sunday Ticket to certain eligible subscribers.
Sunday Ticket, available in various prices and bundles on YouTube and through YouTube TV, includes all out-of-market Sunday afternoon regular-season NFL games broadcast on Fox and CBS.
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