As the first Sunday of the 2023 NFL season arrives, the league is reminding fans where they can find out-of-market games — and where they can’t.
The NFL and Google, YouTube TV’s parent company, reached a deal in December granting YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels exclusive rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket package.
DirecTV, who had carried Sunday Ticket since its inception in 1994, no longer holds the rights to the package of all out-of-market Sunday regular-season games.
The carrier change already risked confusing NFL fans accustomed to finding their games on DirecTV. Recent DirecTV advertisements featuring Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce have further muddied that message.
In a series of commercials painting Kelce as an “overly direct spokesperson,” Kelce tells fans DirecTV will “give you access to every game.”
“YouTube and YouTube TV are the only place to go for fans at home wanting to subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket,” NFL executive vice president of communications Jeff Miller said in a statement. “We are aware of consumer confusion resulting from advertising in the marketplace.”
While the DirecTV ads don’t explicitly say fans will get every “NFL” game, Kelce’s language and association with the league could be interpreted that way. DirecTV ads also explicitly say the carrier gives fans “fast & easy access to EVERY in-market & out-of-market pro football this game this season” before asterisked fine print notes other logistics may need to apply.
A DirecTV spokesperson told NBC Sports that Sunday Ticket can technically be accessed through the YouTube TV app on the DirecTV service.
“The NFL wants its millions of fans to know where to get NFL Sunday Ticket,” Miller said, “and that we stand against deceptive advertising.”