Google is reportedly interested in becoming a go-to platform for millions of football fans in the United States. The company’s top execs have met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and may be interested in picking up the league’s Sunday Ticket package, which includes the distribution rights for all Sunday afternoon games.
NFL Sunday Ticket users gain access to the broadcasts of all out-of-market games broadcast on CBS and FOX. For fans who don’t live near their favorite teams and people like me who obsessively track our fantasy football teams throughout the day, this service is a godsend. It is currently owned by DirecTV, but the satellite TV company’s contract will expire after this season, at which point Google (or another suitor) could take over as Sunday Ticket quarterback.
Attracting the eyes of a nation of football diehards doesn’t come cheap. DirecTV pays $1 billion each year for the package, but given the popularity of football in America and Google’s robust profits, the price tag could go even higher when the next contract is signed.
If Google does pick up Sunday Ticket, the service could find a fitting home on YouTube. Currently, sports leagues like the NBA and MLB operate successful YouTube channels, and Sunday Ticket would serve as the gateway through which the NFL follows suit. In addition, Sunday Ticket would make a killer figurehead for YouTube’s paid channels experiment, which is currently lagging and in need of a signature channel (especially now that Machinima will likely not join its library).
As it turns out, YouTube and Sunday Ticket are a great match. Football fans, especially those who are thousands of miles from where they’d like to be each Sunday, should be rooting for Google to pick up the bill.