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

brianwperry Avatar
84 months ago
Here's hoping Apple holds out until CBS finds a way to shut up Phil Simms.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
convergent Avatar
84 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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
b1wils1 Avatar
84 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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
critter13 Avatar
84 months ago
yes. say yes. this would be a great first step!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
m85476585 Avatar
84 months ago
This is a big deal. Sports is one of the only things left keeping cable around.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jephrey Avatar
84 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.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...
apple music

Apple Increases Apple Music Subscription Price for Students in Several Countries

Sunday May 22, 2022 1:57 am PDT by
Apple has silently increased the price of its Apple Music subscription for college students in several countries, with the company emailing students informing them their subscription would be slightly increasing in price moving forward. The price change is not widespread and, based on MacRumors' findings, will impact Apple Music student subscribers in but not limited to Australia, the...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...