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 30.
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Top Rated Comments
I don't want exclusive rights on sports streaming. It's poison. I'm fine with paying but as many as possible need to be able to have access to the streams. I don't think I want Apple having football anything exclusively.
So why not do that? Some of us will spin how "antiquated" that model is, ignoring that THAT is the still the way to receive the highest quality of HD that is not delivered on a Blu Ray disc, better than cable, satt and streaming. But that would work if Apple would "just do it".
However, it's hard to monetize something commonly viewed as free and thus Apple wants to try to strike streaming-only deals with well over 1,000 broadcasters all over the country so that what is free can be monetized (though still received for free by other, perfectly-legal means).
If it was me, I'd put at least 2 local HDTV tuners in the box, leverage some of my DVR patents for recording shows to a local iCloud (the hard drives on our computers), NAS or off-site iCloud and then use that stronger position to try to strike favorable streaming deals to serve those beyond the reach of OTA. :apple:TV would immediately gain much greater utility for all users (the bulk of the most popular shows are still on the big 5 networks) and new show discovery would likely lead to iTunes season pass sales to catch up on shows we find that already have a few seasons behind them.
OR, if I just can't bear to build something "so antiquated" into my product, I'd normalize that USB port and open hardware attachment options up for app store developers. Then, let the likes of Elgato or similar bring tuner hardware and DVR software apps to market to make that work with :apple:TV.
But what do I know? Waiting potentially years for Apple to strike over a 1,000 deals is somehow a much better way to go I'm sure.