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MacRumors
Aug 21, 2013, 10:56 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/21/google-ceo-in-talks-with-nfl-commissioner-for-sunday-ticket-deal/)


Google CEO Larry Page has had informal discussions with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other NFL executives that included talks about the NFL Sunday Ticket package that DirecTV currently holds the rights to, according to AllThingsD (http://allthingsd.com/20130820/is-google-ready-to-buy-its-way-into-tv-with-an-nfl-deal/).

The current Sunday Ticket deal with the NFL -- which sees DirecTV paying $1 billion a year -- ends after the 2014-15 season and the NFL is likely looking to lock up the rights well before its contract with DirecTV ends.

A number of pundits have suggested that Apple, Google or Amazon could provide a huge boost to their streaming video services by buying exclusive rights to NFL Sunday Ticket (http://allthingsd.com/20130719/how-google-or-apple-could-make-web-tv-a-reality-spend-billions-on-the-nfl/) -- though it's likely the price tag will cost quite a bit more than the current $1 billion per year.

http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/06/watchespn_apple_tv.jpgToday, 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.

[...]

An informal chat is a very long way from a deal, so there's no need to invest too much in the conversation quite yet. And I'm told that Goodell and other NFL executives are meeting with multiple Silicon Valley companies on this trip, which is one they make annually.CBS, Fox and NBC have signed new contracts that see each of them paying roughly $1 billion annually for their Sunday games, while ESPN will pay nearly $2 billion per year for its Monday Night Football broadcast rights. These new contracts were an increase of some 60 percent from their previous deals.

There have been occasional rumors (http://www.macrumors.com/2010/12/15/nfl-sunday-ticket-coming-to-new-apple-tv/) that NFL Sunday Ticket would be coming to the Apple TV, though nothing has come to fruition yet -- however, given the recent additions of HBO Go and WatchESPN (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/06/19/apple-adds-watchespn-hbo-go-sky-news-and-more-to-apple-tv/), Apple is clearly looking to make deals to increase the appeal of the Apple TV box. However, it remains to be seen if Tim Cook is interested in spending more than $1 billion per year on a "hobby".

Article Link: Google CEO in Talks With NFL Commissioner for Sunday Ticket Deal (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/21/google-ceo-in-talks-with-nfl-commissioner-for-sunday-ticket-deal/)



lunaoso
Aug 21, 2013, 11:05 AM
I can see the NFL on the Apple TV as a HUGE selling point. Especially if Apple can offer it at a reasonable price. I still don't see why the NFL is obsessed with exclusive deals though.

topmounter
Aug 21, 2013, 11:06 AM
Alternate headline: NFL to use Google money to settle player head injury lawsuits.

macsrcool1234
Aug 21, 2013, 11:13 AM
I can see the NFL on the Apple TV as a HUGE selling point. Especially if Apple can offer it at a reasonable price. I still don't see why the NFL is obsessed with exclusive deals though.

Yeah really, **** Goodell and what he did with the Madden exclusivity.

critter13
Aug 21, 2013, 11:13 AM
would love to see apple bid for this

jontech
Aug 21, 2013, 11:20 AM
Buffering....,.

GoCubsGo
Aug 21, 2013, 11:21 AM
I'd love to see this happen and happen for ATV as well. DTV's pricing, if you're not a new member, is insane.

DaveN
Aug 21, 2013, 11:23 AM
Apple or Google buy the rights then market it with a $50 season ticket. The cable companies, wanting a piece of the action, block streaming from that source citing excessive network demand unless you pay the cable company an extra $10 a month. Everybody wins except for the viewer.

Sky Blue
Aug 21, 2013, 11:26 AM
Apple should buy the rights and make it excuse to any Apple hardware. Free with an iTunes Match subscription :D

JAT
Aug 21, 2013, 11:30 AM
Alternate headline: NFL to use Google money to settle player head injury lawsuits.

It's not like the NFL has cash issues.

Squilly
Aug 21, 2013, 11:33 AM
All I can say is this proves how much each one of these companies make. Can't even come close to fathoming that "subscription".

FirstNTenderbit
Aug 21, 2013, 11:35 AM
Apple should buy the rights and make it excuse to any Apple hardware. Free with an iTunes Match subscription :D

Now that is funny. Scary as hell:eek:, but funny nonetheless.

BC2009
Aug 21, 2013, 11:51 AM
The important part here is that the NFL is doing a tour of Silicon Valley companies (I'm sure Apple is in the mix). They want all the companies to know that they are taking bids so they drive up the price of the exclusive deal (for DirectTV or for anybody like Apple or Google).

NFL is basically trying to drum up a higher price than $1B per year than they currently get from DirectTV. Keep in mind that Apple makes about $55B in operating profit and $40B in net income after taxes annually. Google makes about $13B operating profit and $11B in net income after taxes annually. Meanwhile, DirecTV makes about $5B in operating profit and $3B in net income after taxes annually.

For Google to pay $1B per year would essentially amount to 8% of their operating profit. For Apple to do it, it would amount to 2% of their operating profit. For DirecTV it amounts to 20% of their operating profit. I'm sure the NFL is hoping for more than $1B per year or else they would not be shopping it around.

jdechko
Aug 21, 2013, 11:56 AM
I don't know why they make exclusivity deals for Sunday Ticket. Surely the NFL could get more than $1bn per year combined from Apple, Google, Amazon, DirecTV and whoever else wants to pay for the rights. Even if those 4 companies paid "only" $500m for non-exclusive rights, that's $2bn. And the last time I checked 2 was twice as much as 1.

flash84x
Aug 21, 2013, 12:04 PM
I don't know why they make exclusivity deals for Sunday Ticket. Surely the NFL could get more than $1bn per year combined from Apple, Google, Amazon, DirecTV and whoever else wants to pay for the rights. Even if those 4 companies paid "only" $500m for non-exclusive rights, that's $2bn. And the last time I checked 2 was twice as much as 1.

Seriously, it sucks for the consumer. It would seem they could simply be resellers of the subscription and the device/service company gets a cut of the fee. Bah.

benh911f
Aug 21, 2013, 12:10 PM
Yeah really, **** Goodell and what he did with the Madden exclusivity.

Goodell wasn't commissioner when the NFL went exclusive with Madden.

drummingcraig
Aug 21, 2013, 12:24 PM
... I still don't see why the NFL is obsessed with exclusive deals though.

Thats where the money is. You can't charge $1B+ to a client if its not "exclusive". Sure they may be able to make the same money if they licensed to multiple, competing entities but why not just shore it up in one deal?

jdechko
Aug 21, 2013, 12:39 PM
Thats where the money is. You can't charge $1B+ to a client if its not "exclusive". Sure they may be able to make the same money if they licensed to multiple, competing entities but why not just shore it up in one deal?

Exactly. Follow the money. But like I said, a bunch of companies could buy in for non-exclusive rights, each paying much less than $1bn and the NFL gets a lot more money.

This could be great for the consumer because not only would we have a choice, but we would (in theory) be paying much less for Sunday Ticket. As it stands, part of the reason Sunday Ticket is so expensive is that DirecTV is the only provider and they are solely responsible for recovering their cost.

nburwell
Aug 21, 2013, 12:40 PM
This would be very appealing, especially to consumers who don't yet have ATV.

Between the two, I much rather prefer NFL RedZone over Sunday Ticket.

lunaoso
Aug 21, 2013, 12:41 PM
Thats where the money is. You can't charge $1B+ to a client if its not "exclusive". Sure they may be able to make the same money if they licensed to multiple, competing entities but why not just shore it up in one deal?

More companies in the mix= more consumers in the mix= more ticket and nflshop purchases= more money for the NFL. Plus they could probably still charge 250-500 mill per company even without it being exclusive.

Chupa Chupa
Aug 21, 2013, 12:55 PM
Apple or Google buy the rights then market it with a $50 season ticket. The cable companies, wanting a piece of the action, block streaming from that source citing excessive network demand unless you pay the cable company an extra $10 a month. Everybody wins except for the viewer.


Are you joking? I pay $175 for Sunday Ticket now w/o the Internet option. If I could get it for $50/season + $10/mo surcharge I'd consider that a huge win.

I don't see it being $50/ season though. Maybe $99 as a loss leader.

Chupa Chupa
Aug 21, 2013, 01:10 PM
I don't know why they make exclusivity deals for Sunday Ticket. Surely the NFL could get more than $1bn per year combined from Apple, Google, Amazon, DirecTV and whoever else wants to pay for the rights. Even if those 4 companies paid "only" $500m for non-exclusive rights, that's $2bn. And the last time I checked 2 was twice as much as 1.

At the time the NFL made the current deal DTV was the high bidder & the NFL wanted a single provider for Sunday Ticket. Whether its changed its business model for the next round remains to be seen.

mmikuta
Aug 21, 2013, 01:58 PM
This is simple. Apple always seems to get outbid. With the amount of cash reserves they have they should wrap this deal up, go nuclear. In one blow they could basically take out a huge market using a page from Amazon's book on potential. They should buy out the deal, and give the Sunday Ticket away to all ATV members and iPhone users. The halo effect would be huge and they can afford it. Cook should just look at as a supply chain issue, just like they lock up panels and memory pricing. Apple needs to stop being afraid that their cash hoard is going to disappear, it is choking them in the market of perception. They should look for the same type angle in Europe and China. Smartphone innovation that changes the market mindset has peaked. A watch ain't going to do it. They need something that people want on the platform, NFL would be huge to show people Apple isn't effing around. #AppleNFL - spread the tag guys

SBlue1
Aug 21, 2013, 02:27 PM
NFL on my Apple TV? Now where was that "shut up and take my money" pic? :D

darster
Aug 21, 2013, 02:34 PM
The NFL is not going to give exclusive rights to anyone anymore. They want it available on as many platforms as possible. That would include cable, streaming devices, satellite, etc.

----------

Buffering....,.

I have the preseason streaming package on my ipad and computer. No buffering problems. I also stream MLB and NHL and again no buffering issues. NFL needs to do what NHL does, stream in HD at 60 fps.

Someyoungguy
Aug 21, 2013, 03:21 PM
Exactly. Follow the money. But like I said, a bunch of companies could buy in for non-exclusive rights, each paying much less than $1bn and the NFL gets a lot more money.

This could be great for the consumer because not only would we have a choice, but we would (in theory) be paying much less for Sunday Ticket. As it stands, part of the reason Sunday Ticket is so expensive is that DirecTV is the only provider and they are solely responsible for recovering their cost.

DirecTV wants exclusivity to lure subscribers. If it's not exclusive, I don't see them paying any more than they do for HGTV. I think ultimately this would be less money for the NFL even for multiple carriers at that rate.

gmanist1000
Aug 21, 2013, 03:47 PM
Yes please! NFL Sunday Ticket on the Apple TV would be such a great addition! It already has MLB and NBA.... all it needs is NFL!

jdechko
Aug 21, 2013, 03:56 PM
DirecTV wants exclusivity to lure subscribers. If it's not exclusive, I don't see them paying any more than they do for HGTV. I think ultimately this would be less money for the NFL even for multiple carriers at that rate.

I agree that DirecTV uses their exclusivity to lure customers, but by going with multiple, non-exclusive partners, I think the NFL could make a lot more money. And if there are multiple partners, we could see the rates drop (because each partner has to invest less money), which is good for consumers.

alent1234
Aug 21, 2013, 04:03 PM
DirecTV wants exclusivity to lure subscribers. If it's not exclusive, I don't see them paying any more than they do for HGTV. I think ultimately this would be less money for the NFL even for multiple carriers at that rate.

with streaming here and the success that MLB and NBA have had with their apps, i don't think the NFL is going to sign another exclusive contract

when they signed the last contract with direct TV, streaming wasn't very popular

brentsg
Aug 21, 2013, 05:24 PM
Are you joking? I pay $175 for Sunday Ticket now w/o the Internet option. If I could get it for $50/season + $10/mo surcharge I'd consider that a huge win.

I don't see it being $50/ season though. Maybe $99 as a loss leader.

How did you manage $175? The current price is $225 for that package.

ToyotaGuy23
Aug 21, 2013, 06:39 PM
Somebody at work said the NFL is listed as a non-profit organization. Wow.

MLB.TV is available on over 350 devices.

C'mon mannnnn!!

macsrcool1234
Aug 21, 2013, 07:23 PM
Goodell wasn't commissioner when the NFL went exclusive with Madden.

He was commissioner when the deal was renewed, twice.

phoenixsan
Aug 21, 2013, 08:53 PM
leverage, Google...?.....:confused:



:):apple:

e-coli
Aug 21, 2013, 10:50 PM
This is literally the only thing keeping cable alive. Whoever gets the NFL streaming rights just bought the promised land.

drummingcraig
Aug 21, 2013, 11:03 PM
Exactly. Follow the money. But like I said, a bunch of companies could buy in for non-exclusive rights, each paying much less than $1bn and the NFL gets a lot more money.

This could be great for the consumer because not only would we have a choice, but we would (in theory) be paying much less for Sunday Ticket. As it stands, part of the reason Sunday Ticket is so expensive is that DirecTV is the only provider and they are solely responsible for recovering their cost.

More companies in the mix= more consumers in the mix= more ticket and nflshop purchases= more money for the NFL. Plus they could probably still charge 250-500 mill per company even without it being exclusive.

You guys are both forgetting that the exclusive rights benefit both parties. Its netting the NFL a huge payout, and it is giving the purchasing company a hot product which is in high demand and GUARANTEES them no competition in pricing. It does seem plausible that more companies in the mix = more money for the NFL. However that concept doesn't take into account the fact that if any cable/TV provider can offer NFL Sunday Ticket there is less money to be made by each of those companies which offer it. The pricing of the Sunday Ticket package would have to drop as the different companies compete to sell it to their customers. In return, the cable providers are taking in less money on it so they will not be willing to spend as much on it.

In other words, imagine you have a pie made out of sweaty football players and cash. You can either sign an exclusive deal and have the whole pie to yourself -or- you let pie be cut it into smaller and smaller pieces each time another provider comes along and wants a piece....sooner or later there's nothing left on your plate but your fork (and a sweaty jock strap).

derek4484
Aug 22, 2013, 07:38 AM
They'd plaster NFL games all over the internet for free. That's be awesome.

If Apple got it, they'd squeeze every last penny from us to watch NFL games.

Chupa Chupa
Aug 22, 2013, 08:38 AM
How did you manage $175? The current price is $225 for that package.

Talk to DirecTV retention (not a regular CSR) if you are an existing sub. Probably too late for this year since they have started billing. Take a look at the ST thread on DBStalk: http://www.dbstalk.com/forum/7-directv-general-discussion/ to find out deals people were able to negotiate. I've has ST since '98 & never paid list price, though sometimes my price reduction was in monthly credits.

jdechko
Aug 22, 2013, 11:14 AM
You guys are both forgetting that the exclusive rights benefit both parties. Its netting the NFL a huge payout, and it is giving the purchasing company a hot product which is in high demand and GUARANTEES them no competition in pricing. It does seem plausible that more companies in the mix = more money for the NFL. However that concept doesn't take into account the fact that if any cable/TV provider can offer NFL Sunday Ticket there is less money to be made by each of those companies which offer it. The pricing of the Sunday Ticket package would have to drop as the different companies compete to sell it to their customers. In return, the cable providers are taking in less money on it so they will not be willing to spend as much on it.

I understand why companies choose to market their product exclusively through a retail channel. Look at Apple and the iPhone. The iPhone was a hot product that consumers wanted, and as a result, they had AT&T and VZW by the balls.

It's think it's a little more complicated here, because it's not entirely exclusive. The NFL is also getting nearly $5bn from other sources (FOX, NBC, CBS & ESPN) for the right to broadcast some games. Sunday Ticket competes against "free", so it's really only going to appeal to diehard football fans.

Turning your statement around, if it's non-exclusive, providers pay less, and therefore would have to charge less. Monopolies can usually charge more, while open competition charges less. In this case, open competition is good for the consumer, and depending on how deals are structured, it could be good for the NFL.

Finally, the viewership landscape is changing. When the last deal was structured, we didn't have the viewing options we have now. Even DirecTV, while slow, is accepting this, and allowing people to watch on their computers and/or mobile devices. And with all of the other major sports allowing people to subscribe directly, it feels like the NFL is stuck in the last century ("You mean I can only watch football on my TV?").

I'm not saying it will happen; I have no inside information. I'm only saying that it should.

In other words, imagine you have a pie made out of sweaty football players and cash. You can either sign an exclusive deal and have the whole pie to yourself -or- you let pie be cut it into smaller and smaller pieces each time another provider comes along and wants a piece....sooner or later there's nothing left on your plate but your fork (and a sweaty jock strap).

I understand what you're saying, but I think its a faulty analogy. A pie is a finite resource; rebroadcast rights to TV is (theoretically) infinite. The NFL can sell as many pies as it wants (and already has sold different kinds of pies to FOX, NBC, CBS & ESPN). DirecTV would like to have bragging rights, saying that it's got the pie and you don't (they even say as much in their advertising).

Also, eww. Need eye bleach.

drummingcraig
Aug 22, 2013, 04:35 PM
I understand why companies choose to market their product exclusively through a retail channel. Look at Apple and the iPhone. The iPhone was a hot product that consumers wanted, and as a result, they had AT&T and VZW by the balls.

It's think it's a little more complicated here, because it's not entirely exclusive. The NFL is also getting nearly $5bn from other sources (FOX, NBC, CBS & ESPN) for the right to broadcast some games. Sunday Ticket competes against "free", so it's really only going to appeal to diehard football fans.

Turning your statement around, if it's non-exclusive, providers pay less, and therefore would have to charge less. Monopolies can usually charge more, while open competition charges less. In this case, open competition is good for the consumer, and depending on how deals are structured, it could be good for the NFL.

Finally, the viewership landscape is changing. When the last deal was structured, we didn't have the viewing options we have now. Even DirecTV, while slow, is accepting this, and allowing people to watch on their computers and/or mobile devices. And with all of the other major sports allowing people to subscribe directly, it feels like the NFL is stuck in the last century ("You mean I can only watch football on my TV?").

I'm not saying it will happen; I have no inside information. I'm only saying that it should.



We are talking about NFL Sunday Ticket here, not network and/or cable broadcast of select games. I don't think its fair to say that "Sunday Ticket competes against free" because the free option doesn't get you the access that ST does (not to mention that free doesn't include the game broadcast on ESPN). They are not the same thing. Sunday Ticket is an exclusive product, as to my knowledge no other offering gives you access to any NFL game on any weekend. If you don't have Sunday Ticket then you watch what is being broadcast on your local network affiliate or ESPN (or you go to a bar).

Now, I do understand that if prices of the ST package dropped due to competition it would increase the market since more people could afford it. However I don't necessarily believe that equals more revenue being generated. I think it might wind up being a lot closer to breaking even with what is generated now. You have to remember that DirectTV is not in business to do what is best for the consumers. They are in business to make money.

You also need to consider something you yourself pointed out: the networks pay big $$$ to the NFL for the rights to air select games too. If ST became too affordable and every other NFL fan bought it the networks would see massive declines in their viewership = huge loss in advertising funds = goodbye to huge money going to the NFL.

I most certainly agree that the TV landscape is changing quickly and as such it will inevitably impact these types of things and hopefully it will mean more choices and better options for the fans.

I understand what you're saying, but I think its a faulty analogy. A pie is a finite resource; rebroadcast rights to TV is (theoretically) infinite. The NFL can sell as many pies as it wants (and already has sold different kinds of pies to FOX, NBC, CBS & ESPN). DirecTV would like to have bragging rights, saying that it's got the pie and you don't (they even say as much in their advertising).

Also, eww. Need eye bleach.

The pie in my analogy was representing the viewership which is a finite resource (limited of course to the number of human beings with money and a TV). True the NFL can license broadcast rights until they're blue in the face, but they can't directly control the number of viewers. Hence, the more companies they license to the smaller their piece of the viewership pie.

Perhaps I didn't explain it quite the best way though.

jdechko
Aug 22, 2013, 05:42 PM
I'm not even sure how Sunday Tickey works anyway, so I will start off by saying that. But how much overlap is there between Sunday Ticket and what the other networks broadcast? Is Sunday Ticket all-inclusive or does it cut out the network/ cable broadcasts? I do understand what you are saying that it's not a direct comparison, ST vs. free, but I think the majority of football-watching America is content with whatever games they get as part of their TV package, myself included (given that its limited to DirecTV and quite expensive).

Is DTV is just a means to an end for the NFL? As long as the check clears, does the NFL really care who signs it? Does the NFL really care if DirecTV makes less money?

Also, I'm not completely disagreeing with what you say, so I hope it's not taken that way. It's just that licensing negotiations can be very complicated, especially one as complex as this (multiple partners, advertising and subscription revenue, exclusivity deals, etc., not to mention profit sharing with the teams, owners and players). Personally, I think the NFL will get along just fine with non-exclusive partners, and hopefully customers will see lower subscription rates. I think the biggest potential loser with a non-exclusive deal will be DirecTV.

Given its current incarnation, I will continue not subscribing to ST, but I'm interested in seeing the direction things go during the negotiation.

JAT
Aug 23, 2013, 12:07 AM
I'm not even sure how Sunday Tickey works anyway, so I will start off by saying that. But how much overlap is there between Sunday Ticket and what the other networks broadcast?
If you have a full cable package so you can get every available game each week in your area, you will get between 4 and 7 games per week. Some get fewer than that. ST gives you every single game, 14-16 per week, you choose which you want to watch. There is, of course, overlap. But that isn't the point. The point is you get all the other games.

ST is valuable to those that want to watch a team which is not their local team, to those that are crazed fantasy football players, or those that are just crazed NFL fans.