David Talbot

A View from David Talbot

Is Google Eyeing NFL Programming?

If Google claimed ownership of comprehensive Sunday football coverage, Google Fiber – and TV dongles – would be an even better deal

  • August 21, 2013

One clearly disruptive player in Internet communications is Google Fiber ( see “When Will the Rest of us Get Google Fiber?”) which is showing it’s possible to provide ultra-fast Internet in the United States for far less cost than people are paying now for slow service.    The rub is this: most people want television with their Internet. While Google did strike some content deals to offer TV with Google Fiber, the battle for Internet service often comes down to a battle over who’s got the best content package – with sports channels being particularly in demand.

That’s why this post in All Things D intrigues. The writer suggest suggests  Google may be interested in buying the rights to the NFL’s “Sunday Ticket” package, now offered by DirecTV, which gives football addicts every game televised in other markets, together with all manner of ways to consume game highlights.   The nub of the piece:  ”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.”

A Google spokesman, Jay Nancarrow, said the company had no comment on the report.  But if Google/YouTube plunked down the cash for “Sunday Ticket”–and folded it into their TV and fiber offerings–it would certainly help accelerate the course of Google Fiber’s Internet disruption in the U.S., even if some of the company’s ideas for Internet expansion abroad are a bit more outlandish (see “African Entrepreneurs Deflate Google’s Internet Balloon ”).  And it could also help breathe life into Google’s other forays into television–a recently-announced dongle that lets you play Internet video on your TV (see “Google Launches a Dingle to Bring Online Video to TV”), and the set-top boxes called “Google TV” that have so far struggled in the marketplace (see “Google Breathes New Intelligence Into its TV”).

Become an MIT Technology Review Insider for in-depth analysis and unparalleled perspective.

Subscribe today

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Connectivity

What it means to be constantly connected with each other and vast sources of information.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus ad-free web experience, select discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.