REPORT: Google is in talks on broadcasting rights for the NRL

Photo: Getty

The NRL has been engaged in secret talks with Google about the rights to live stream games on Youtube.

Media website Mumbrella quotes a senior media buyer as saying “Google buying the rights, or even discussing buying the rights is interesting, because it declares their long term intention of distribution of live games through over the top (OTT) content.”

Basically it’s about Google getting a foothold in Australian television.

Google has confirmed the talks and if a deal is struck it will identify Google as a major player in the Australian media market.

Google Australia told Business Insider: “From time to time we do talk to organisations about what they might do in the online world.”

Telstra, the NRL’s naming rights partner since 2001, signed a new $100 million five-year mobile rights and sponsorship deal in December 2012 that allows the telco to stream eight live games a week via the league’s smartphone app, as well as key games such as tomorrow night’s second State of Origin clash over the internet.

News Corp-owned Fox Sports has digital streaming rights to five games a week on IPTV and tablet devices and is now halfway through the $1 billion five-year TV broadcast deal it signed, alongside Channel 9, with the NRL.

The news comes at the end of a turbulent week in the Australian media landscape, with Foxtel investing $77 million for up to 15% in the ailing Channel 10.

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