New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

NFL Solicits Apple to Stream 'Thursday Night Football' Next Season

Thursday_Night_Football_logoThe NFL has solicited Apple and other digital companies, including Amazon, Google and Yahoo, about streaming the full "Thursday Night Football" schedule online on a non-exclusive basis next season, according to SportsBusiness Daily.

The league also sent bidding proposals to CBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC and Turner Sports for traditional TV rights to the "Thursday Night Football" package, which is currently split between CBS and the NFL Network for the ongoing 2015 season.
The league’s initial plan would have the digital streams serve as a simulcast of the television production -- with the same ads and in-game production features. […] It is not clear how much the league is expecting to make from the streaming rights, but several sources said the digital streams would not diminish the TV rights fee, especially if the digital streams carried the same advertising.
While there is no certainty that Apple is interested in the NFL's digital rights, online streaming is inevitably the future of sports broadcasting as more cable subscribers cut the cord. NFL offers a live streaming app Game Pass, but it does not include "Thursday Night Football" and its selection of games is limited compared to rival platforms such as MLB At Bat, NBA League Pass and NHL GameCenter.

Yahoo could be a frontrunner to secure the digital rights, having paid an estimated $15 million to exclusively live stream a 2015 regular season game between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars at London's Wembley Stadium. Yahoo said it saw 33.6M streams of the game and up to 15.2M unique viewers tuned in to the live stream on the web, tablets and smartphones.

CBS currently produces all sixteen "Thursday Night Football" games, anchored by sportscasters Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, as part of its estimated $300 million NFL deal. NFL Network simulcasts the games and carries eight games exclusively as part of its current partnership with CBS, which began in the 2014 season. Most games kick off at 8:25 p.m. Eastern Time.



Top Rated Comments

(View all)

10 months ago
Here's hoping Apple holds out until CBS finds a way to shut up Phil Simms.
Rating: 11 Votes
10 months ago
Yes please. Give me a reason to not renew my Sunday Ticket subscription. Oh wait, the Bears have already given me plenty of reasons. And yet, I keep handing DirecTV my money. Now I'm trolling on my own post; sigh.
Rating: 6 Votes
10 months ago
Live sports is the biggest challenge for cord cutters. This may give apple a toe hold into something that could disrupt the whole space.
Rating: 6 Votes
10 months ago
yes. say yes. this would be a great first step!
Rating: 4 Votes
10 months ago
This is a big deal. Sports is one of the only things left keeping cable around.
Rating: 3 Votes
10 months ago
Here's what I would like for every/any sport...
1. Select your team (or multiple teams)
2. Purchase season(s)
3. Watch every game of the selected team's (s') season.

I'm ready to pay money to do this and until the moment that I can, XMBC is a work-around that is a little inconvenient for me but I'm sure hurts the bottom line of the broadcasters.

I'm sure I'm not the only one. Give us people what we want. No blackouts, no in/out of market games, I just want the option to watch every game. SIMPLE.
Rating: 2 Votes
10 months ago

I don't like football, but ... about time!


Blasphemy!:p
Rating: 2 Votes
10 months ago
This could be a "killer app" for ATV. Apple would be foolish to not make an effort to secure the rights IF they could make it exclusive to iDevices the same way Verizon did previously. Does the NFL want to go that route or seek out a more universal platform? Who can tell what the NFL ever wants.
Rating: 2 Votes
10 months ago

I don't get this at all. There are several broadcasters such as CBS and Sky News that have shown that you can stream live. I think CNN app does as well. So given this, why do they need anything other than to create an NFL app that has a live stream option (for an in-app fee if they want to monetize)? When are they going to go away from the old model? The ATV4 has changed the landscape; has no one noticed?


I COMPLETELY agree! I want a 100% streaming option... Without having to have a cable or satellite service. Let me have an NFL Subscription right on my ATV4...
Rating: 1 Votes
10 months ago
I wouldn't mind an exact "copy" of the Televised TNF game. just to have the chance to check it out and see.
It would be neat to have "live stats" access as a pop up or something with a hit of a button or "up swipe"

I Missed the game(s) that were available to stream on Yahoo or somewhere earlier this season
Heck, include pre-season games as live or rewind for Free access too.


BUT YES...all this streaming means Comcast and others will charge more to access the Internet or by the GB. I think they should charge by the speed and you get unlimited. you want super speed, you pay more. no data limits.
Rating: 1 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]