Could Google be looking to offer up NFL’s Sunday Ticket package through YouTube?

There are about to be exciting times ahead for the various licenses tied to the National Football League. EA Sports’ exclusive deal with the NFL for the Madden franchise is almost set to expire (though chances are it will be renewed again), but that isn’t all that’s going to be talked about behind closed doors in the months to come.

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NFL’s exclusive licensing deal with DirecTV for the Sunday Ticket package is also expiring at some point next year, meaning Commissioner Goodell and the NFL are all ears when it comes to fielding offers from new content providers. So who could be throwing their hats into the arena to compete with the satellite TV provider? According to AllThingsD, it might be Google.

Rumor has it Larry Page and other representatives from Google have been in early talks with the NFL regarding several things, and the subject of the Sunday Ticket package no doubt eased its way into the conversation. While it’s too early to tell if it means anything, it’s always fun to speculate what this could mean for the future.

Live games through YouTube?

One of the more obvious pitches we imagine Google will make will be to offer live streams of all NFL games through YouTube. It’s quite the viable platform for such a service, and it would bring Sunday Ticket access to a lot more people who might not otherwise be able to get in on the fun. Yours truly would love to pay for Sunday Ticket, but I’m also not willing to get DirecTV service for it.

The NFL might not care that a vast majority of their fanbase can’t get access to Sunday Ticket depending on how much money DirecTV is dishing them (seriously, no pun intended), but we know the league has been thinking about those on the outside looking in.

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The NFL recently started offering those who can’t get DirecTV service the ability to buy the Sunday Ticket package for an annual price of $250, and will facilitate those customers through mobile apps and desktop websites. Giving Google a license for delivering games through YouTube would open the NFL to an almost limitless source of extra revenue that they were otherwise missing out on.

Open to all capable wallets

At the same time, we have to deal with the reality that faces us — the NFL probably won’t want to ditch traditional cable TV subscribers. The better solution, in my opinion, would be to offer a multi-party license, giving the likes of DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Comcast and more the opportunity to offer the programming just as well as DirecTV has for the past several years.

History shows us NFL prefers exclusive licensing, but this is one area where the league could stand to make a lot more money working with several players than just the one. Such a principle should naturally extend to any online offerings.

The league has already shown major hints of wanting to provide digital, online access to content with the likes of NFL Game Rewind, Preseason Live, and the aforementioned online access to Sunday Ticket for those outside DirecTV’s range. Bringing folks like Google into the mix can only help things. And it doesn’t even have to be just YouTube, either — TV is another area Google could lean on thanks to the deployment of Google Fiber (though the current footprint alone isn’t big enough to justify a deal).

Of course, the NFL will have to get over their big time-y attitude and be willing to accept less money per license, but if they can get multiple major players on board then they’d still be making money hand-over-first.

Would you be willing to subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket if Google were able to offer online access? Let us know how you’d feel about that in the comments below.

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  • justin middleton

    I’d buy it in a heartbeat! with YouTube accessibility you can take it anywhere you go! awesome! there have been some apps that supposedly stream content but they are either very shotty or have impossible requirements

  • Erik Knudsen

    You don’t have to have DirecTV to get Sunday Ticket currently. You can get the computer/tablet/phone/PS3 access and never have DirecTV.

    • Ronnie Ron Weez

      your wrong becasue you needed DirectTV to get the PS3 access and on top of that the PS3 will not support Sunday ticket this year

      • Erik Knudsen

        Ok, take PS3 out. You still don’t have to have DirecTV to get Sunday Ticket, which was my point.

        • techgui

          Yes you have to be a directv subscriber to have access to Sunday Ticket. I recently gave up directv for the first time in over a decade last year.

          • Erik Knudsen

            No, you don’t. I had it last year with no DirecTV service. And I’m getting it this year with no DirecTV service. Madden 25 from an Amazon preorder comes with Sunday Ticket access regardless of service. They even tell you that if you have DirecTV, it makes Sunday Ticket cheaper. If you don’t have DirecTV, you get the computer access.

          • techgui

            maybe for someone that is restricted from getting dtv service

    • Splaktar

      They aren’t offering PS3 viewing this year. You can’t watch live on PC /mobile unless DirecTV isn’t available in your area or you have DirecTV.

  • spicymeatball

    youtube/chromecast for the win.

    • Roaduardo

      Brilliant idea. Anything that circumvents cable and satellite providers is a win. Screw them.

  • guitarist5122

    If it’s cheaper than the $5 a month I have to pay verizonwireless.com.

    • Daniel

      Are you referring to NFL Redzone? If so, completely different.

  • http://n/a brad

    Most definitely would buy it!! Iv had directv and paying $300 for it definitely was not something I was willing to do! Once time warner got nfl network and nfl redzone off I went to time warner, it may not be sunday ticket but I’m a lot happier and no stupid contract binding me to their service!!

    • Havoc70

      Its $224 on Directv just ordered it. Unless you get Sunday ticket Max

  • JonANDROID

    Ohh yes!!! That would be great…

  • roberto.elena

    NFL Game Pass is just $199 for regular season + Playoffs + Superbowl, not available in the United States, Mexico, Bermuda, Antigua, the Bahamas, and any U.S. territories, possessions and commonwealths (including American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands).

    Blackouts apply in the UK and Republic of Ireland, and Canada.

    For the rest of the world it is a very rare case of getting a better deal while living outside of the USA.

    I wish we could get a similar deal for NBA League Pass here in Spain. I think we are the only country besides Canada and USA with blackouts (including most Playoffs games).

    • bbqsfire

      I feel that it would be a better option to market it through multiple cable and Internet providers. With more and more people losing the unlimited data on phones it would still almost be a requirement to have an outside Internet provider. The bars and other restaurants that use Sunday ticket as a marketing device would also take a hit having to upgrade equipment. The horrible dsl speeds in rural areas would be an issue for so many. I think the exclusive part needs to be done away with but I don’t see the nfl leaving guaranteed money unless they was going to be making more guaranteed money. I might be the only one that thinks YouTube wouldn’t be the best platform for the Sunday ticket but it sounds like everyone is against exclusive content.

      • malcmilli

        One could also argue the opposite, there seems to be a common trend in people ditching their cable providers, at here in ny a lot of prior are just paying for home internet and watching all off their shows online. This move could get revenue from those users more easily.

  • Go Hawkeyes

    I’ve had Sunday Ticket for several years now. I love the convenience of it being right on my TV. The last thing I want to do is watch it on my computer screen or deal with sending it to the TV from the computer somehow. This is an area where Google can suck it. Besides, DirecTV would lose millions of subscribers if they lost Sunday Ticket. They’ll pay through the nose to keep it.

    • arrigob

      As long as I can get it via my PS3′s youtube app, I would be happy.

    • Havoc70

      Chromecast will work great for this

      • Go Hawkeyes

        And be laggy as hell I’m sure.

        • Havoc70

          No lag on my chromecast at all.

    • Mythris9

      Wii, XBox360, PS3 and many smart TVs have youtube apps. And even if you have none of that a Chromecast is only $35 and can stream from the youtube mobile apps about as quickly as picking up your remote and getting to the channel you want on the TV.

      • Go Hawkeyes

        Still not as easy as just grabbing the remote and going to the channel. I don’t need a smart TV for DirecTV. Nor do I need a game system or a Chromecast. Sure, I have all of those things, more than one of some, but it’s still not going to be as easy as just turning to the channel on the regular old DirecTV STB.

  • hideeho100

    Where did you get the DirecTV picture for this article? Peyton Manning is no longer with the Colts, for a long time too. lol
    Also glad the monopoly by DirecTV will be over!

  • idongacha

    sold

  • Tojen1981

    Your phone aint for callin, your phone’s for footballin!

  • MrJoshuaPack

    I don’t have cable, or dish. So, this is awesome! I really hope they do it. I don’t want to pay for cable or dish, but I do want to watch football. I feel like it is a waste of money to pay for both.

  • Eric Soriano

    Sign me up!

  • Mindchatter13

    That would be amazing I would sign up

  • Havoc70

    Sign me up!

  • ComputerChuck

    I’d buy tomorrow. I cut the TV cord 5 months ago.

  • Splaktar

    I would certainly sign up. I was going to drop DirecTV and just use the PS3 this year till that got screwed over.