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Sources Say Google-NFL Deal Unlikely, As League May Only Look For Leverage In Talks
Published August 22, 2013
LEAKING TO GAIN LEVERAGE? The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Miriam Gottfried writes there is "no indication that Google is anywhere near a deal to offer the package," but the news "raises the possibility of a powerful partnership that could be the magic bullet for Google in its goal of luring traditional TV viewers, and associated advertising dollars, to the Internet." Live sporting events are "among the primary reasons U.S. consumers pay for TV," and bringing them online as a separate subscription "would allow many more people to stop paying for traditional TV." It also would "let the NFL broaden its viewer base by selling to those people who don't pay for TV." It is "possible the NFL may have leaked news of the meeting to gain leverage in negotiations with DirecTV" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/22).
READY FOR THE BIG TIME? Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban "thinks the Web, and Google, are capable of delivering NFL games to your TV." Cuban in an e-mail wrote, "Sunday Ticket is a great starting and testing point for Google -- the NBA League Pass would be as well -- simply because the number of out of market simultaneous viewers falls far below what Google can handle at HD quality." Cuban: "They can do Sunday Ticket. But they have to anticipate the fallout, and negative brand impact, from fans who really, really want the best quality picture on their big screen TVs. While Google can handle the technical side of delivery, they’ll have the QOS issues I mentioned above. So DirecTV will blow away the picture quality and continuity of picture and service that Google can offer at this point. And every football fan will thank them if they keep the rights" (ALLTHINGSD.com, 8/21).