Streaming is the new big thing for networks, and now it seems even sports leagues. Earlier this year the NFL teamed with Yahoo to live stream one of their games from London. It was the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars on October 25th. The stream had its issues, but that’s pretty much the norm when you launch something that millions of people are using at the same time. The kinks were eventually worked out. That single game that Yahoo live streamed, the company paid the NFL $15 million to stream. And now the NFL is looking to stream Thursday Night Football next season, but where?
It’s being reported by SportsBusinessDaily that the NFL has reached out to the likes of Amazon, Google, Apple and Yahoo. It’s said that the bidding for streaming Thursday Night Football is set to begin at $300 million. The traditional networks are also expected to be bidding this time around, that includes CBS, ABC, Fox, ESPN and others. But as the number of cord cutters continues to increase, the digital options look better and better. In this report, it’s noted that if Apple or Google get the package, then it’ll be on a non-exclusive basis. What that means is that you’ll still be able to watch the games on TV no matter what network they are on.
Typically Thursday Night Football is shown on the NFL Network. But for the majority of this season, they’ve been on CBS which is available over-the-air and not via a cable provider. Thus reaching a slightly larger audience. The NFL is the largest sports league in the US, so if one of these companies do get the streaming rights, just imagine what this could mean for the NFL and their partner. Definitely expect Amazon, Yahoo, Google and Apple to put up a tough fight for these streaming rights.
It’s important to note that this is just a report. So there’s no confirmation that the NFL have reached out to these four companies. But don’t be surprised when you hear an announcement later on about the NFL streaming games elsewhere for Thursday nights.