PORTLAND, Ore. -- Google has been holding talks with the National Football League, raising speculation that the Internet monolith is seeking new inroads into television.
Other tech companies like Apple are reportedly in talks with cable providers to boost access to blockbuster television shows through their devices.
With Google sitting on a cash pile of $48 billion, the league's Sunday Ticket package is easily within its reach.
The contract is currently held by DirecTV, which pays about $1 billion annually for the rights. That contract, however, expires at the end of the 2014 season.
Earlier this year, Google Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette said "it serves the shareholder best to actually have that strategic ability to pounce," when there is the opportunity to make a major acquisition.
The NFL confirmed its meetings with Google Wednesday, but declined to discuss the nature of those talks, as did Google.
Google recently unveiled a device called Chromecast, which is part of its attempt to make it easier for people to access Internet content on their TVs. Chromecast is a small stick roughly the same size as a thumb drive that can be plugged into an HDMI port on flat-panel TVs.
Michigan loses Darboh: Michigan wide receiver Amara Darboh will miss the season because of a foot injury.
The loss of the 6-foot-2, 212-pound sophomore is a tough one for the Wolverines, who were counting on him to provide another target for quarterback Devin Gardner alongside established veteran wideout Jeremy Gallon.
Coach Brady Hoke made the announcement of Darboh's status in a written statement Wednesday.
Lee signs extension: Dallas Cowboys middle linebacker Sean Lee signed a six-year contract extension, a deal that goes through the 2019 season.
A story on the team's website said Lee's deal is worth about $42 million, but could escalate as high as $51 million depending on different incentives. The guaranteed money is around $16 million.
Bostic fined: A person familiar with the situation says Chicago Bears linebacker Jonathan Bostic has been fined $21,000 for a hit during last week's preseason game against San Diego.
California rallies: Grant Holman hit a three-run homer in the top of the ninth and Chula Vista, Calif., rallied for a 6-3 victory over New England champion Westport, Conn., on Wednesday night to earn a berth in the U.S. championship game at the Little League World Series.
Westport plays Northwest champion Sammamish, Wash., on Thursday. Sammamish (3-1) moved on to the matchup in the U.S. bracket by eliminating Nashville, Tenn., 6-5 on Tuesday. Westport was coming off a 9-7 victory over Sammamish on Sunday.
Japan edges Mexico: Kazuki Ishida homered to center field in the bottom of the fifth inning to snap a 2-all tie and spark a game-changing rally, and Japan beat Mexico 5-2 on Wednesday to earn a berth in the international championship game of the Little League World Series.
Mexico (2-1) will play Aguadulce, Panama, on Thursday in a rematch. Mendoza hit two of Tijuana's five home runs in a 13-0 four-inning win over Panama on Sunday in the winners' bracket.
Harrellson to Pistons: The Detroit Pistons signed center Josh Harrellson to two-year contract for the league minimum with the team holding an option for the second season Wednesday.
Harrellson played sparingly in six games last season for the Miami Heat.
The Pistons traded for point guard Brandon Jennings during their busy offseason and signed free agents Josh Smith, Chauncey Billups, Luigi Datome and re-signed Will Bynum.
Sharapova withdraws: Four-time major champion Maria Sharapova pulled out of the U.S. Open because of a right shoulder injury.
Sharapova, the 2006 champion at Flushing Meadows, has played only one match on tour since her second-round loss at Wimbledon in June.