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Apple Hires Top NFL Lobbyist Cynthia Hogan to Head Washington Office

Apple has hired Cynthia Hogan, a top lobbyist for the National Football League, as vice president for public policy and government affairs for the Americas, reports Politico. She will head the company's Washington D.C. office starting April 29 and report to Apple's environmental, policy, and social initiatives chief Lisa Jackson."Cynthia’s intellect and judgment have consistently distinguished her as a uniquely talented professional and we’re lucky to have her join the team at Apple,” Jackson said in a statement.Hogan, who previously served as Counsel to the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, under President Barack Obama, is a key hire for Apple as it battles the U.S. government and law enforcement about the intersection of encryption and national security. That ongoing debate reached a peak this year when the U.S. Justice Department demanded a court force Apple to assist the FBI with unlocking an iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook in an act of terrorism last year. The Justice Department ultimately dropped the case in late March after the FBI discovered its own method of entry into the password-protected device, but Apple still faces similar lawsuits concerning encryption in other U.S. states, including New York and Massachusetts. Apple spent a record $4.4 million last year to lobby privacy, cybersecurity, patent reform and other issues, according to the report. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members

Apple Won't Bid on Streaming Rights to NFL's 'Thursday Night Football'

Apple has decided it won't bid on the digital rights to stream the NFL's "Thursday Night Football" package next season, according to Re/code. The streaming rights to the NFL's Thursday evening games could have helped set the Apple TV apart from competing streaming boxes, but Apple reportedly felt the package "isn't enough to pull that off." Amazon, Facebook, Verizon, and Yahoo remain candidates in the bidding war to stream the Thursday evening games online, the report claims. Yahoo could be a frontrunner to secure the digital rights, after paying 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. The NFL currently offers a live streaming service called Game Pass, but the app does not include "Thursday Night Football," and its selection of games is limited compared to rival platforms MLB At Bat, NBA League Pass, and NHL GameCenter. In February, the NFL announced that "Thursday Night Football" will air on CBS, NBC, and NFL Network in 2016 and 2017. CBS and NFL Network will televise the first half of the schedule, with NBC and NFL Network televising the second

Ad-Less Apple Maintains Presence at Super Bowl 50

Apple was conspicuously absent from commercial slots aired during the television broadcast of yesterday's Super Bowl 50, but that didn't stop some of its products from popping up in ads for other companies' wares (via AppleInsider). In TV spots aired during the National Football League's biggest game, a shout-out for Apple Music featured at the end of T-Mobile's ad, which promoted the network carrier's unlimited streaming feature. Meanwhile, hawk-eyed viewers may have seen an Apple Watch make a brief cameo appearance in a Hyundai commercial showcasing the car company's smartphone-compatible automotive system Blue Link, which enables remote voice-activation of several in-car controls. Elsewhere, a Super Bowl-themed ad for Apple's Beats headphones appeared on Twitter and YouTube, featuring Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton wearing a pair of Powerbeats Wireless 2 in-ear headphones while training. Apple, along with Intel, Yahoo, and Google, gave $2 million in cash and other services to offset taxpayer costs of hosting Super Bowl 50, which took place at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. In exchange for the donations, each company received a private Super Bowl suite and publicity around the game. TV commercials aired during the game however can cost up to $5 million alone. Congrats @Millerlite40 Peyton Manning @Broncos Amazing season. pic.twitter.com/3RfQml832C— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) February 8, 2016 Apple helped establish the annual hype surrounding Super Bowl TV commercials, with its "1984" television ad for the Macintosh being among the most

NFL in Talks With Apple Over Live Stream of London Games

The National Football League is in talks with technology companies like Apple and Google as the NFL seeks out a partner for three London games that it plans to stream next season, reports Reuters. Apple is said to have expressed interest in purchasing the rights to conduct the stream, perhaps in an effort to secure the games for the Apple TV. In December, news leaked suggesting Apple and other digital companies like Google, Amazon, and Yahoo had talked with the NFL about streaming "Thursday Night Football" games online on a non-exclusive basis. It is not yet known who secured those digital rights. Over the past year or two, live-streaming has become important to technology companies who want to cater to sports enthusiasts and an ever growing number of cord cutters. In 2015, Yahoo partnered with the NFL to live-stream a London game for free to viewers, setting off a trend that is continuing this year. The NFL believes last year's Sunday night streaming experiment was a success, with approximately 15.2 million viewers having tuned in as it was broadcast. According to Reuters, it is not clear if the NFL plans to sell the rights to the three games as a package deal or split them up individually. The fee the NFL is seeking is also not known, but last year, Yahoo shelled out $15 million to stream a single game. The three games that will be played in London include the Indianapolis Colts vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars on October 2, the New York Giants vs. the St. Louis Rams on October 23, and the Washington Redskins vs. the Cincinnati Bengals on October

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

The 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

CBS Sports to Stream Super Bowl 50, Other NFL Games Free on Apple TV

CBS Sports this week announced it will expand its streaming NFL coverage on the Apple TV, with plans to stream two regular season games, four playoff games, and Super Bowl 50. The games will be available on laptops, computers, and tablets via CBSSports.com, in addition to being available on connected television devices like the Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One, and Chromecast. Games will be streamed live and will be free to watch, with no cable authentication required. New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins in London will be the first regular live game streamed for free, and it will be broadcast on October 4 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time. The second regular season game CBS will show is the Carolina vs. Dallas on November 26 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time. AFC playoff coverage will also be streamed, including Wild Card, Divisional, and Championship games."We're very excited to offer more NFL ON CBS streaming coverage across more digital platforms than ever before," said Jeffrey Gerttula, Senior Vice President and General Manager of CBS Sports Digital. "All NFL fans will have access through their computers, tablets and now Connected TVs to two regular season games for the first time in addition to all of the AFC playoff action, culminating with a truly historic Super Bowl."While CBS will be streaming NFL games to connected television devices, computers, and tablets, most iPhones will not be able to be used to stream CBS NFL content due to contractual agreements with Verizon. Verizon iPhone owners will have access to streaming content through the NFL Mobile app. CBS's plan to stream

Apple TV Gains Updated NFL Channel With Game Pass Integration

The Apple TV's existing NFL Now channel was today revamped, changing the name to "NFL" and adding support for Game Pass subscriptions. Through the updated channel, NFL fans who have a Game Pass subscription can watch on-demand NFL games and live out-of-market preseason games on the Apple TV for the first time. In late July, the NFL did away with its existing NFL Game Rewind program, which previously gave customers in the United States access to on-demand NFL games after they aired on broadcast television. Game Rewind was replaced with Game Pass, with access being added to the Apple TV and the NFL Mobile app on the iPhone and the iPad. The prior NFL Now channel that was on the Apple TV was limited to historic videos, breaking news, and game highlights rather than complete games as the NFL's contracts with television providers have previously prevented it from showing full game content on the television through the Apple TV. Game Pass includes live access to most out-of-market preseason games, aside from those that are nationally broadcast, plus on-demand regular season, playoff, and Super Bowl games that are available after they air on broadcast television. Game Pass is available in the United States, Bermuda, Antigua, the Bahamas, any U.S. territories, possessions and commonwealths (including American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands), and Mexico. An NFL Game Pass subscription is priced at $99.99 and access to content will last until July 31, 2016. NFL fans outside of the United States also have access to an international "Game Pass"

NFL 'Game Pass' With On-Demand Game Broadcasts Coming to Apple TV

The NFL has long offered various packages that let football enthusiasts watch games on their mobile devices, but it's always been difficult to get that content on the Apple TV. That may be changing, however, according to a website dedicated to a revamped Game Pass program that the NFL plans to debut later this summer. For viewers in the United States, the NFL currently offers Game Rewind, with access to on-demand NFL games after they air on broadcast television. As of July 31, 2015, Game Rewind is being discontinued in favor of Game Pass, a consolidated service that will offer all 256 NFL season games on-demand as well as access to live out-of-market preseason games. Game Pass access will be added to the existing NFL Mobile app on the iPhone and the iPad, and the website indicates Game Pass content will also be available on "select connected TV devices" including the Apple TV. When the new Game Pass service is made available on the Apple TV, it'll be the first time the NFL has allowed full game broadcasts on Apple's set-top box, which is big news for football fans who are also cord cutters. At the current time, there's an NFL Now channel on the Apple TV, but this is limited to historic videos, breaking news, and game highlights, rather than complete games due to contracts with television providers. With the prior Game Rewind service, the NFL went so far as to disable AirPlay mirroring to the Apple TV in an effort to keep broadcasts limited to iOS devices. The new Game Pass works a lot like the former Game Rewind service. It includes live access to most

NBC to Stream Super Bowl XLIX on iPad and Mac for Free, No Cable Subscription Required

NBCUniversal today announced that it's debuting a new "Super Stream Sunday" promotion, which will allow all U.S.-based users to watch 11 continuous hours of NBC content through the NBCSports.com website and through the NBC Sports Live Extra app on the iPad/iPod touch without the need for a cable subscription. Super Stream Sunday, which starts on February 1 at noon Eastern Time, will include Super Bowl XLIX, the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show with Katy Perry, and the Super Bowl XLIX pre- and post-game shows. It will also feature an episode of The Blacklist. Accessing NBC content through NBC.com or within the NBC Sports Live Extra app typically requires a cable subscription and authentication through logging into the service, but for the Super Stream Sunday period, no logins will be required, allowing everyone to watch the Super Bowl for free. NBC is running the promotion in an effort to make people aware of its TV Everywhere offerings, which offer television content on a range of devices with a cable subscription. While iPad and iPod touch users can watch the Super Bowl using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, NBC is not able to stream content to the iPhone as it does not have NFL live-streaming rights for smartphones due to an exclusive deal the NFL has with Verizon Wireless. Verizon Wireless and the NFL plan to introduce a Super Bowl Stadium app that will offer "exclusive in-stadium video content" that includes commercials and replays shown from four camera angles. Users not in the United States or Mexico can access the Super Bowl through the NFL's Game Rewind