Google has brought us, Google Jelly Bean, Google Nexus phones, Google+, Google Groups, Google Hangouts, Google Chrome, and now they want to bring us Google Football. DirecTV has long ruled the NFL Sunday Ticket Package, but the contract they signed in 2009 for $4 billion ends after the 2014 season, and Google wasted no time in laying the groundwork for discussing the possibility of Google and YouTube taking over from DirecTV. According to AllThingsD, Google CEO Larry Page and YouTube content Chief Robert Kyncl met with a delegation from the NFL, led by Commissioner Roger Goodell, and the NFL Sunday Ticket Package was discussed.
It is an intriguing idea – the NFL meets Google, both respective powerhouses in their businesses. DirecTV is currently paying the NFL $1 billion dollars a year for the rights to broadcast the NFL Sunday Ticket Package, a drop in the bucket for a company like Google that has wanted to jump into TV, but has never completely accomplished that task. It seems as though the NFL is willing to consider less conventional avenues with Google's YouTube broadcasting the games…if nothing else it does give the NFL more leverage with Google's YouTube as a potential customer.
DirecTV certainly cannot be happy about the possibility of being outbid by Google and losing the NFL Package it has held as a shining jewel in its crown these many years, distinguishing itself from archrival, Dish Network. Many customers only stay with DirecTV because of that NFL Package and losing it could mean losing many customers as well.
A "meeting of the minds" is hardily coming close to hashing out a deal, so for now, it is a wait and see attitude…the NFL knows it will get a lucrative deal, that is for certain, but what is uncertain is which company will reap the benefits of broadcasting the NFL Sunday Ticket Package. I think it makes sense for Google to add this package to YouTube for streaming to all those flat screen TVs across the U.S., as well as smartphones, tablets, and laptops…we can even "cast" to our big screens with Google's Chromecast.
Let us know if you would rather have DirecTV keep the NFL Package, or if you would like to see Google and YouTube give it a shot.