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

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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 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.

Article Link: NFL Solicits Apple to Stream 'Thursday Night Football' Next Season
 

1Zach1

macrumors 65816
Feb 8, 2008
1,204
740
Northern Va
Really hope someone like Amazon or Netflix land this and include it in their packages. Would really like this to expand to all games as well, since I don't have cable/sat and would like to be able to watch games that aren't OTA.
 

NachoGrande

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2010
950
1,579
hmmm I still remember stream gate... not sure if I'd trust them. Get ready for the cable companies to start charging by the GB
 

Waxhead138

macrumors 6502
May 18, 2012
439
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Looks much better that the NFL solicits Apple than Vice Versa. As some have already said, that is a statement all by itself. Hopefully some domino effect results from it.
 
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thisisnotmyname

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Oct 22, 2014
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I'm a football fan but I'd rather see everyone (Apple, Google, Amazon, etc...) reject this (knowing that it won't happen). My ideal world the NFL wouldn't get anyone willing to pony up a big package to them and they have to go direct to consumers, this would then keep them from being locked to any specific platforms. Even though I have Apple TVs I would like to know that if I move to some other technology later it won't be like DirecTV and I'd lose access to NFL because they don't have a "deal" with whatever platform I've moved to. If NFL is counting on B2C across the board they'll provide access and apps on everything with any reasonable level of usage.

Yes I know they're talking about non-exclusive streaming but it would still limit availability to only those organizations that want to pay a large up front fee hoping to attract the audience on the back-end.
 

thisisnotmyname

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Oct 22, 2014
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Also, the DirecTV deal always seems to be cited as why live games can't come to streaming platforms, maybe Thursday night is some exception but this seems to imply that DirecTV exclusivity is on broadcast but not necessarily streaming delivery. I hope they expand game pass to live games, If they want to start charging $179/year (I think that's what Sunday Ticket is) for that I'd certainly pay it.
 

1Zach1

macrumors 65816
Feb 8, 2008
1,204
740
Northern Va
I'm a football fan but I'd rather see everyone (Apple, Google, Amazon, etc...) reject this (knowing that it won't happen). My ideal world the NFL wouldn't get anyone willing to pony up a big package to them and they have to go direct to consumers, this would then keep them from being locked to any specific platforms. Even though I have Apple TVs I would like to know that if I move to some other technology later it won't be like DirecTV and I'd lose access to NFL because they don't have a "deal" with whatever platform I've moved to. If NFL is counting on B2C across the board they'll provide access and apps on everything with any reasonable level of usage.

Yes I know they're talking about non-exclusive streaming but it would still limit availability to only those organizations that want to pay a large up front fee hoping to attract the audience on the back-end.
I really don't want the NFL in the streaming business.
 

nburwell

macrumors 601
May 6, 2008
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Live sports is the biggest challenge for cord cutters. This may give apple a toe hold into something that could disrupt the whole space.

I couldn't agree more. Live sports is the main reason why I haven't cut the cord yet/hesitant to. ESPN streams only so much live sports via their WatchESPN app. If I didn't watch sports at all, I would probably have cut the cord already.
 
For all the times we gush about Apple's huge cash hoard and how they should get some unique content only for :apple:TV, here's a chance for Apple to easily do that. Certainly, the other players do not have more spare cash laying around to outbid Apple.

At the same time, we'll fill threads with whining for huge discounts over what we pay now in some "new model" cut-the-cord option from Apple. And many of us also wants those huge discounts in a commercial-free new model.

So here's one standout opportunity to try to realize all three on at least a singular program level. Let's see if Apple will flex it's (biggest) muscles by putting some of that cash to use here AND simultaneously deliver it to us for the huge discount that most of us desire... potentially commercial-free too.
 

4jasontv

macrumors 68040
Jul 31, 2011
3,297
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Yes please. Give me a reason to not renew my Sunday Ticket subscription.

We live in Broncos country, but grew up in New England. Our first year here we missed all but one Pats game. So then we subscribed to Sunday Ticket via the PS4 when they made it available for customers who couldn't get their service. (Our HOA signed an exclusive deal with century link and Dish.) what happened? The Patriots either played Denver, Sunday night, or Monday or Thursday. None of which are available via the service due to blackout rules. We only watched one game on Sunday ticket.

I won't sign up for anything until I get live season pass for the teams I select. I don't care when it's on, or who they are playing.
 

BJMRamage

macrumors 68030
Oct 2, 2007
2,531
923
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.
 
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Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
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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.
 

zyr123

macrumors 6502
May 31, 2009
478
47
apple don't screw this up. I would give you 100$ a year to stream every nfl game
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
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.

What does Sunday Ticket have to do with Thursday Night Football? o_O
 
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