Google May Intercept NFL Sunday Ticket
Earlier this week, a post on AllThingsD reported that Larry Page, Google CEO and co-founder, was joined by YouTube’s Robert Kyncl to enter talks with higher-ups from the NFL, including League Commissioner Roger Goodell. Just what, exactly, the group talked about, isn’t known for sure, but the post cites “people familiar with the meeting” and says that one of the topics they discussed was that of NFL Sunday Ticket. Could Google be negotiating the rights to provide customers with exclusive access to Sunday Ticket on their computers and Android devices?
For those not familiar, Sunday Ticket is a service that allows football fans to watch any and every game on in the NFL on Sunday. Without it, fans are stuck watching whatever NFL games their local stations deem worthy—though, to be honest, considering that games appear each Sunday on CBS, Fox, and NBC, and do so all day, you’ll still get plenty of football regardless.
Anyway, last year, Sunday Ticket appeared on Sony’s PlayStation 3 as a downloadable app that could be accessed with a subscription to the service. But this year, the app was mysteriously missing from the console. Meanwhile, earlier in May, Goddell sat down with former Xbox boss Don Matrick during the Xbox One’s reveal event—though that presentation had more to do with the new Xbox’s integration between NFL television broadcasts and fantasy football match-ups. Then just last week, there were reports that Sony had inked a deal with Viacom regarding exclusive TV content rights. And we can’t forget about Apple’s recent acquisition of Matcha.tv.
In all, the TV landscape is starting to change, and big tech companies are looking to get an edge on how you interact with your content, and where you get it from. The idea that Google—arguably in a race for dominance with Apple and Amazon to be America’s most powerful tech company—could wrangle NFL Sunday Ticket definitely makes sense, especially considering the other moves it’s making in the TV space. Football is king in American living rooms, and if Google could make it so that it owns fans’ eyeballs on Sunday, it could be very lucrative, indeed.
And it’s not like you’ll have to be a tech genius to find a way to push NFL games from your computer to your TV—that’s what the recently released Chromecast is for.
Considering that the start of the regular season is nearly upon is, it seems pretty certain that any big deal between Google and the NFL will probably not take effect until next season, at least. But I’m keen to find out what, if anything, came of this meeting between the Google and NFL. Your thoughts?
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