What is America’s favorite sport? Nope, not baseball, it’s football. According to Harris Interactive’s poll earlier this year, 34 percent of adults surveyed stated that football is their favorite sport, while only 16 percent chose baseball.
These findings really aren’t that surprising given all the craze happening with the NFL, especially during this year’s Super Bowl. Thousands of people flocked either to watch the game, tailgate, or hold their own Super Bowl parties at home with their buddies. Some are excited to watch all the Super Bowl ads while others just watch it because of the half-time performance.
And so, what might be in store for us if America’s most loved sport teams up with the world’s largest media company? How would that play out?
According to reports, Google is hoping to buy the rights to the NFL’s Sunday Ticket Package, which is currently owned by DirecTV. NFL’s deal with DirecTV is coming to an end at the end of the 2014 NFL season.
Google has been trying its hardest to break into the TV business, but unusually for Google, so far its attempts have failed miserably. GoogleTV was not a hit, and its latest offering, Chromecast, might also fail if Google fails to add more exclusive content to its little USB key-like device. If Google is able to secure the NFL deal, I’m pretty sure football fanatics would be dying to get hold of the Chromecast.
Sources stated that Google CEO Larry Page, along with YouTube content boss Robert Kyncl, met with a delegation from the NFL led by commissioner Roger Goodell.
Before you purchase your Chromecast, remember that the DirecTV deal is not yet over and nothing is set in stone. Likely there will be many others bidding for the Sunday Ticket package and there’s still a huge chance that DirecTV will be able to retain it.
So how would NFL benefit Google if the deal does go through?
3 Ways NFL could be Google’s ticket to TV
As we mentioned before, Chromecast doesn’t have much to offer. It has far less content when compared to Apple TV and Roku for example, so consumers haven’t really been that excited about it. The only thing good about Chromecast is that you use your laptop, tablet or smartphone as a remote control, something that Google can leverage if it does get the NFL deal. Aside from using your device for control, Google can also make it so it serves as your second screen, allowing viewers to see player stats, scores, and anything else they want to know about the game currently playing on your TV.
If Google wants to make money off from YouTube, aside from putting tons of ads on it that irritatingly load faster than the actual video, it could offer an exclusive paid NFL channel where viewers can watch the livestream coverage. This could be enjoyed on the web using Chromecast or even mobile devices that have a YouTube app (which rules out Windows Phone).
Google could create tons of NFL-based apps which can be downloaded from Google Play. The apps could vary from virtual trading cards, to facts apps, and even quirky NFL games. The apps could be either a paid or free, and feature in-app purchasing for game boosts or to unlock new levels.
But what would Google locking the NFL deal mean for football fans? All I can think of is everything will be plastered with even more ads, no matter what Google ends up doing with it. And that would really suck.