The worst thing about NFL Sunday Ticket—the broadcast service that offers access to every NFL game, including out-of-market ones—is the part where you have to subscribe to DirecTV. The $225 you have to spend during the season to watch any game you want? Not that bad. So, what if you could just watch every game on YouTube?
Well, Peter Kafka reports:
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.
DirecTV spent $1 billion a year on the package, and that deal expires at the end of next year (all the broadcast deals with ESPN, NBC, CBS and Fox are locked in through the early 2020s). Google, which owns YouTube, has that kind of money in the creases of the office beanbags. If the NFL accepted Google's cash now, that could open the door for non-traditional broadcast partners—Apple and Amazon, say. And as Fox well knows, the NFL is a great gateway to being a real TV player.
The NFL might be split on this. On the one hand, by offering every game to everyone—instead of to its 20 million U.S. DirecTV subscribers—it'll bring in a lot more happy consumers. On the other hand, the NFL is still in some ways a collection of local markets. As Kafka previously reported:
I ran this theory by Craig Moffett, the level-headed telco/TV analyst, and he wasn’t excited about it. He figures the league wants to keep Sunday Ticket as a niche offering, because individual teams want to lock down their local audiences.
Still, this is an exciting prospect: every NFL game at your fingertips, buffering and buffering and buffering.