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Apple TV and the NFL: The 50-Yard Scamper for Cash

Stocks in this article: AAPL GOOG DTV

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "Are you ready for some football?" Google (GOOG) wants you to watch it on its services, but don't discount Apple (AAPL) in this case.

According to AllThingsD, Google CEO Larry Page met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about bidding for the NFL Sunday Ticket, which is carried by DirecTV (DTV). It's all about cash in this case, and Apple, with its $146.6 billion cash hoard, has more cash than anyone, Including Google.

DirecTV has had the contract to carry Sunday Ticket, which allows you to watch any game, in market or out of market, since the package was unveiled in 1994. In 2009, DirectTV paid the NFL $4 billion to re-up the deal, but it expires next year.

A Google/YouTube + NFL combination would almost certainly send shockwaves through the media, broadcast television and technology worlds. However, a combination of Apple + NFL would do even more. Apple already has a wide lead on Google as it relates to set top boxes, with Apple TV. Though I've said in the past that the Google Chromecast, which plugs directly into people's HDTVs, might impact Apple TV, Apple has the user interface, ecosystem, and most importantly, the cash, to win any bidding war should it decide to enter into one.

Apple and Google could not be immediately reached for comment for this story, while NFL Spokesman Greg Aiello did not respond to a tweet sent on this matter.

It's likely that Goodell, who's already met with Google, will meet with other companies, including Apple; it only makes sense. It also continues the trend of the NFL adding more technology to the fan-watching experience, something it's been doing over the past few years.

The NFL has brought some of its games to Verizon (VZ), allowing users to watch Thursday and Sunday night games on their smartphones. Some teams have added tablets to help enhance the viewing opportunities in stadium, allowing fans to keep up to date on their fantasy teams. The NFL is clearly taking technological enhancements seriously, especially as ticket prices continue to remain elevated, and going to an actual game remains expensive.

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