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Google makes NFL Sunday Ticket a three-way race

Jul 25, 2022
Illustration of a ticket that looks like a football field.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Google has emerged as a surprising bidder for the NFL's Sunday Ticket rights, having made a bid for the package, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Big tech has eyed live sports rights as its next conquest, and its considerable war chests will only further inflate prices.

State of play: Google is now one of three tech conglomerates in the running for the NFL's out-of-market package, along with Apple and Amazon.

  • Apple has been widely seen as the most likely winner.
  • The NFL wants to find a single buyer for a stake in its media business as well as its out-of-market Sunday Ticket package.
  • A source with knowledge of the talks tells Axios a deal is "probably months away."

What they're saying: NFL executives have not exactly been shy about their intentions to revitalize their media business.

  • NFL commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed that Sunday Ticket would be leaving its longtime home at DirecTV in favor of streaming. "I clearly believe we'll be moving to a streaming service," he told CNBC earlier this month.
  • "We are planning a new rollout of NFL Sunday Ticket for the 2023 season. While we are not ready to reveal that just yet, one thing we can say is it will be more innovative, accessible and digital," Brian Rolapp, the NFL's chief media and business officer wrote in Sports Illustrated last week.

The latest: The NFL debuted its subscription streaming video service, NFL+, on Monday. The regular tier of the app includes live games, NFL Network shows on demand, NFL Films archives and other content.

💭 Thought bubble, via Sara Fischer: The NFL has been aggressive in its efforts to bring more of its games to streaming without cannibalizing its lucrative live TV contracts with various TV networks.

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