Google may be up for a lot of football. The search giant is in “advanced talks” to acquire the rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday night. The report says a deal could be announced as soon as Wednesday.
The NFL declined to comment. Google did not immediately respond to a CNET request for comment.
If the deal goes through, Google will take over the Sunday Ticket rights from DirecTV, which has been the exclusive home of the pack since 1994. The satellite provider has paid the league over $1.5 billion a year for the Sunday Pass in recent years. often uses NFL games as a way to attract and retain subscribers.
The Journal reports that the Sunday Pass bundle is available to watch as an add-on through YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels, Google’s $65 per month TV streaming service. The second service, announced in November, is Google’s way of delivering premium content directly on YouTube from providers like Starz, Showtime, Epix, and Paramount Plus.
It’s unclear how much Google might charge for the Sunday Pass. For a full season, DirecTV previously priced the service at around $300 for the basic Sunday Ticket service or $400 for a “Max” version that includes extra channels like RedZone.
Reports have previously indicated that the NFL is seeking $2.5 billion a year for the Sunday Pass in its new deal, and while that’s a hefty sum for content, the high price tag doesn’t stop Apple, Amazon or Disney from bidding on it. Rights. Amazon is said to be paying the NFL $1 billion a year to be the exclusive home for Thursday Night Football games this fall.
Unlike the Amazon deal, which streams its games on Amazon’s Prime Video and Twitch platforms, Sunday Ticket does not prevent you from watching your local CBS or Fox Sunday broadcasts on TV.
As an off-the-shelf option, it lets you watch games broadcast in other parts of the country but not necessarily on your local stations. For example, if you live in Miami and the Chargers’ game against the Broncos isn’t airing on your local CBS branch, you can watch it on YouTube via Sunday Ticket.
Like DirecTV, YouTube TV is a live television service and offers all the major local channels including ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, as well as NFL Network. While the Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV doesn’t let you buy games on streaming services like Amazon or ESPN Plus, it could make Google’s television service the go-to place to watch almost any NFL action you want.