Earlier this month we learned that DirecTV was in discussions with the National Football League about the fate of the Sunday Ticket franchise. Satellite TV giant DirecTV currently owns the NFL Sunday Ticket rights through the end of the 2014 football season.
Speaking to investors during DirecTV’s second quarter earnings call, chairman and CEO Michael White said talks with the NFL are ongoing. “We’re always in a dialogue with the NFL about how things are going and how we can continue to improve and build the franchise, and we’ve had those discussions as well this year,” White said. “We continue to have very constructive discussions with the NFL.”
DirecTV pays ~$1 billion per year for Sunday Ticket, and in March, DirecTV chief financial officer Patrick Doyle hinted that the NFL’s fee was too steep. It shouldn’t then come as a shock to learn that Google is reportedly in talks with the National Football League for Sunday Ticket.
Could Google be looking to take the NFL to the internet through its video content provider, YouTube? Distributing through YouTube would be a pretty big deal! If DirecTV can’t meet the NFL’s asking price it will be interesting to see if Google or Apple step in and ink a deal to bring football to users through something other than a TV. If DirecTV walks away from Sunday Ticket how much revenue and customers will they lose? NFL Sunday Ticket Max costs $299.95 and NFL Sunday Ticket runs $224.95 when paid in full per season. DirecTV is said to have approximately 2 million Sunday Ticket subscribers.