As NFL television ratings steadily decline, broadcast rights fees continue to rise, but during Recode’s Code Media conference in Huntington Beach, California, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki reaffirmed the video platform’s desire to stream NFL games.
After being asked by an audience member if YouTube was interested in NFL streaming rights and what they’re pitch to the NFL would be, the YouTube CEO confirmed “I would love to stream the NFL.”
Acknowledging that she can’t speak on any specific deal, Wojcicki stated she believes YouTube would be a great platform for sports because of their 1.5 billion logged-in users each month. Wojcicki continued to say whenever YouTube has a live streaming event, the results are successful.
Wojcicki used examples of large live streamed events such as the inauguration and launching SpaceX’s Tesla Roadster to Mars garnering millions of viewers. Wojcicki also mentioned offering features that could enhance the viewing experience such as enabling an e-commerce function, selling sports merchandise to the audience.
YouTube has bid on the NFL’s Thursday Night Football streaming package the last two years, losing to Twitter and Amazon. Twitter paid $10 million for a 10 game TNF package in 2016, last year Amazon upped the bid to $50 million for 11 games. After Fox won Thursday Night Football rights for $3 billion, outbidding other networks including NBC by $45 million per game, expect the upcoming streaming rights deal to increase as well.