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

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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 half.

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

samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
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I wonder if it was because they didn't want to deal with selling advertising. Not that they couldn't outsource that part.
 

thisisnotmyname

macrumors 68020
Oct 22, 2014
2,348
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Game pass is not live but does have all games; may want to correct the article.

Edit to add: it won't happen but I'd really like to see everyone pass. I don't like distribution deals, this is how we got bundles in the old television model. In the age of streaming, the content creators can go direct to the customer and we can pick our own a la carte offering. I want more HBO Now and less Disney bundling. This is the type of thing that results in big required packages and blackouts during contract negotiation.

And yes, before someone calls me out on the semantics I am aware that "channels" often didn't create the content they air either.
 
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Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
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This was to be expected. I mean who needs the exclusive digital rights to one of the widest watched sports nights in one of the world's biggest and richest markets when you have a Dr. Dre docu-drama series.

Missed opportunity to show its not just a player in set top boxes but the leader. If Amazon gets the rights its a huge feather in its Prime cap and starts to marginalize ATV.
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,781
4,284
Thursday night football is on relevant to the fans of the two teams playing.....perhaps that's why Apple is passing.
not really. Maybe at the beginning of the season. Just b.c it is divisional games doesn't mean it is only relevant to those fans.

It better not go to verizon.
 
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Rogifan

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Nov 14, 2011
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This was to be expected. I mean who needs the exclusive digital rights to one of the widest watched sports nights in one of the world's biggest and richest markets when you have a Dr. Dre docu-drama series.

Missed opportunity to show its not just a player in set top boxes but the leader. If Amazon gets the rights its a huge feather in its Prime cap and starts to marginalize ATV.
But Eddy Cue is a master negotiator and deal maker!
 

ProVideo

macrumors 6502
Jun 28, 2011
427
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The amount spent on broadcasting rights for pro and college sports has gotten to an absurd amount. I cut the cord because I was tired of having no choice but to support ESPN bending over for the broadcasting rights to the leagues and Comcast bended over for ESPN's rate increase demands while continuously increasing the customer cost every year with no choice to not get ESPN and their sister channels. ESPN being mandatory for Sling TV is why I haven't signed up for it yet.
 
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AustinIllini

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Oct 20, 2011
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TNF is easily the worst of the special football events, but I really want football out of the reaches of the cable companies.
 

samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,637
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This was to be expected. I mean who needs the exclusive digital rights to one of the widest watched sports nights in one of the world's biggest and richest markets when you have a Dr. Dre docu-drama series.
Maybe someone needs to tell Eddy that football players have historically been involved with murder, drugs, sex, etc too...
 
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Quu

macrumors 68030
Apr 2, 2007
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I don't watch the NFL but just in general exclusivity agreements on sporting events, tv shows, movies and music are bad. Bad for the producers of the content with restricted awareness of the material being produced and bad for consumers with limited device or platform choice, increased prices and inconvenience.
 

69Mustang

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Jan 7, 2014
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In between a rock and a hard place
Apple dodged a bullet. If you think tech forums are sometimes childish and petulant, screw up a stream of a sporting event and you will see sports fans react with an entirely new level of butthurt. We are (most definitely including myself in this group) entirely way too irrational when it comes to footbawl. It ain't worth the hassle.
 
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