The long-running race for NFL Sunday Ticket is reportedly coming to an end, with Google as the winner for the package, which will be available on YouTube (owned by the company).
While an official announcement hasn’t come quite yet, the New York Times reports that $2.5 billion has been discussed as the annual cost to Google, which would be a billion more per year than the $1.5 billion currently being paid by DirecTV.
The length of the deal is currently unknown. DirecTV’s existing deal with the league is an eight-year pact.
Additionally, the Times reports there are potential extra payments in the deal related to subscriber additions and “other performance benchmarks.”
Google has discussed paying about $2.5 billion a year to the league, $1 billion more than DirecTV, which had the rights for years, according to two of the people, who would speak only anonymously to discuss confidential negotiations.
The league could receive additional payments based on the number of YouTube subscribers that Google is able to add, as well as other performance benchmarks, the people said. The length of the contract is unclear.
A number of digital outlets were linked to Sunday Ticket in recent years, though Apple was long-viewed as the favorite. But as talks dragged on, Apple reportedly dropped out of the bidding last week, opening the door for the Google-owned YouTube, initially linked over the summer.
Getting a piece of the NFL’s media rights would be a major coup for Google, especially as it comes at the expense of rivals Amazon and Apple. Amazon can at least fall back on its tech partnership with the NFL and its media rights deal to carry Thursday Night Football, but Apple has no such contingency.
The last remaining NFL media property out there is the NFL’s media operations, which the company has been looking to sell a chunk of, in addition to or apart from the rights to Sunday Ticket. Amazon was linked as a potential buyer there (because of course they were) and the league reportedly talked to Netflix about a stake in NFL Films, though nothing has yet come of that.
If a company that isn’t a rightsholder wants in with the NFL, that’s their last resort for the near future. It remains to be seen if anyone will meet the NFL’s asking price.