There could be a new bidder for the rights to air Sunday professional football games.
Sources tell AllThingsD that Google (GOOG) CEO Larry Page has met with National Football League (NFL) Commissioner Roger Goodell for very informal discussions. Included in the talks was the possibility that the Internet search giant could try to buy the rights to the NFL’s Sunday Ticket, which covers all regular Sunday NFL games not carried by local broadcast stations.
Sunday Ticket rights are now held by DirecTV (DTV), but its contract expires at the conclusion of the 2014 NFL season. DirecTV pays $1 billion annually for the rights.
No formal bid is imminent and NFL executives meet yearly with leading tech companies. Adding NFL programming would help drive Google’s YouTube platform deeper in TV broadcasting and attract more viewers.
This fall, Google plans to enter the textbook market, offering digital textbooks to both college and high school students.
Shares of Google rose modestly in Wednesday morning trading, while DirecTV dipped slightly.