Google has been in talks with the NFL recently according to an AP report on Boston.com. It is thought that Google is seeking more and more ways to get their company integrated with your television in your living room.
With Google sitting on a cash pile of $48 billion, the league’s Sunday Ticket package is easily within its reach.
The contract is currently held by DirecTV, which pays about $1 billion annually for the rights. That contract, however, expires at the end of the 2014 season.
As a subscriber to NFL Sunday Ticket on DirecTV and an avid supporter of pretty much all of Google’s technologies, this sounds like a great deal to me. DirecTV’s delivery methods for NFL programming have been pretty good over the years, and their first foray into sending NFL games to laptops was great, but the innovation has slowed in recent years.
As more and more NFL action gets consumed over the Internet, it only makes sense for a company that owns YouTube – the biggest deliverer of Internet video content – to take over. For Google it also is another step from being simply a technology company to an actual content rights holder. That’s the same moves that Amazon and Netflix have been making by developing their own TV series over the last few years. This obviously raises the stakes a little bit by getting into the biggest professional sport in the United States.
The AP article goes on to say that some analysts believe DirecTV loses money on the NFL deal and that a renewal could go for about $1.5 billion, which would represent a substantial rights increase. Jimmy Haslam and his fellow NFL owners have to love the sound of that.