National Football League Commissioner
The only NFL TV package that will be available anytime soon is satellite broadcaster
The Sunday Ticket contract, which costs DirecTV roughly $1 billion per season, is up after the 2014 season. While that seems like a long way off, the NFL likes to renegotiate TV deals a few years in advance.
If Google were to go after Sunday Ticket, it would likely be with the intention of streaming the games over the Internet, which is known in the industry as going over the top. Such a move would be intriguing to say the least and was a topic of conversation between the NFL and Google, according to All Things Digital.
Of DirecTV's 20 million subscribers, about 2 million get Sunday Ticket at an average price of $250 per season. DirecTV also gets revenue from its Sunday Ticket mobile package that allows customers to watch games on their phones.
An over the top offering of Sunday Ticket could greatly increase the potential audience far beyond DirecTV and Google certainly has deep enough pockets to make the NFL think very seriously about such a bold offer.
But -- there is always a but -- there are other things to consider including how
The concern of CBS and Fox would primarily be that if enough people were watching football games online that were not available in their town, it could hurt the ratings for their local stations. Even though the ratings for a game watched on Sunday Ticket count toward CBS and Fox's national rating, a Los Angeles resident watching a game in the Washington market doesn't do their local stations any good.
This is why the NFL has resisted the urge to offer Sunday Ticket to cable operators such as
The NFL declined to comment on Google and Sunday Ticket as did Google. A league spokesman said it often meets with "innovative leaders in Silicon Valley and around the world" and is "constantly looking for ways to make our game better on the field."
While the NFL is staying quiet, just floating the idea of a rival bidder for Sunday Ticket may be enough to get DirecTV to shell out more cash to hold onto its package.
Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.