Google CEO in Talks With NFL Commissioner for Sunday Ticket Deal

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Google CEO Larry Page has had informal discussions with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other NFL executives that included talks about the NFL Sunday Ticket package that DirecTV currently holds the rights to, according to AllThingsD.

The current Sunday Ticket deal with the NFL -- which sees DirecTV paying $1 billion a year -- ends after the 2014-15 season and the NFL is likely looking to lock up the rights well before its contract with DirecTV ends.

A number of pundits have suggested that Apple, Google or Amazon could provide a huge boost to their streaming video services by buying exclusive rights to NFL Sunday Ticket -- though it's likely the price tag will cost quite a bit more than the current $1 billion per year.

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Today, according to sources, Google CEO Larry Page, along with YouTube content boss Robert Kyncl, met with a delegation from the NFL led by commissioner Roger Goodell. And the Sunday Ticket package was among the topics of discussion, according to people familiar with the meeting.

[…]

An informal chat is a very long way from a deal, so there’s no need to invest too much in the conversation quite yet. And I’m told that Goodell and other NFL executives are meeting with multiple Silicon Valley companies on this trip, which is one they make annually.

CBS, Fox and NBC have signed new contracts that see each of them paying roughly $1 billion annually for their Sunday games, while ESPN will pay nearly $2 billion per year for its Monday Night Football broadcast rights. These new contracts were an increase of some 60 percent from their previous deals.

There have been occasional rumors that NFL Sunday Ticket would be coming to the Apple TV, though nothing has come to fruition yet -- however, given the recent additions of HBO Go and WatchESPN, Apple is clearly looking to make deals to increase the appeal of the Apple TV box. However, it remains to be seen if Tim Cook is interested in spending more than $1 billion per year on a "hobby".

Top Rated Comments

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94 months ago
I can see it now...

Apple or Google buy the rights then market it with a $50 season ticket. The cable companies, wanting a piece of the action, block streaming from that source citing excessive network demand unless you pay the cable company an extra $10 a month. Everybody wins except for the viewer.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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94 months ago
Alternate headline: NFL to use Google money to settle player head injury lawsuits.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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94 months ago

Alternate headline: NFL to use Google money to settle player head injury lawsuits.


It's not like the NFL has cash issues.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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94 months ago
I'd love to see this happen and happen for ATV as well. DTV's pricing, if you're not a new member, is insane.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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94 months ago

Exactly. Follow the money. But like I said, a bunch of companies could buy in for non-exclusive rights, each paying much less than $1bn and the NFL gets a lot more money.

This could be great for the consumer because not only would we have a choice, but we would (in theory) be paying much less for Sunday Ticket. As it stands, part of the reason Sunday Ticket is so expensive is that DirecTV is the only provider and they are solely responsible for recovering their cost.


DirecTV wants exclusivity to lure subscribers. If it's not exclusive, I don't see them paying any more than they do for HGTV. I think ultimately this would be less money for the NFL even for multiple carriers at that rate.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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94 months ago
Apple is Stupid if they Don't Outbid on This

This is simple. Apple always seems to get outbid. With the amount of cash reserves they have they should wrap this deal up, go nuclear. In one blow they could basically take out a huge market using a page from Amazon's book on potential. They should buy out the deal, and give the Sunday Ticket away to all ATV members and iPhone users. The halo effect would be huge and they can afford it. Cook should just look at as a supply chain issue, just like they lock up panels and memory pricing. Apple needs to stop being afraid that their cash hoard is going to disappear, it is choking them in the market of perception. They should look for the same type angle in Europe and China. Smartphone innovation that changes the market mindset has peaked. A watch ain't going to do it. They need something that people want on the platform, NFL would be huge to show people Apple isn't effing around. #AppleNFL - spread the tag guys
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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