Rumors are spreading that Google has started informal discussions with the NFL to buy the rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket package.
AllthingsD.com’s Peter Kafka reports that Google CEO Larry Page and YouTube’s head of content Robert Kyncl sat down with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and other NFL leadership. “The Sunday Ticket package was among the topics of discussion, according to people familiar with the meeting,” writes Kafka.
DirecTV currently owns the rights to the NFL Sunday package, paying $1 billion a year for the contract. The exclusive deal that DirecTV has with the NFL will come to an end at the close of the 2014 NFL season. On August 2, AdWeek claimed DirecTV CEO Michael White told investors during DirecTV’s second quarter earnings call that he believed a renewal with the NFL would be reached before the current contract expires, “I continue to be optimistic that we’re great partners together and that Sunday Ticket will stay with us for the long haul.”
Since last month’s launch of Chromecast, Google’s small WiFi-enabled device that plugs into an HDMI port to stream online video content, it’s likely the search giant will continue to explore more and more television-programming opportunities. Winning the NFL Sunday Ticket package would be a quick and swift move, helping Google gain a dedicated TV-viewing audience.
According to Kafka, NFL delegates are courting “multiple Silicon Valley companies” and the conversation with Google is by no means anything other than a starting conversation. Google declined to comment on the story, and Kafka was still waiting for an NFL spokesperson to respond to the report.
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