Apple will not be putting in a bid for the digital streaming rights to the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” package for the 2016 season.
Up for grabs: The right to stream up to 18 regular-season games. And, in theory, a chance to stand out from a crowd of online video players vying for viewers and advertisers’ attention.
While Apple is most assuredly looking for ways to set its fourth-generation Apple TV set top box apart form its many competitors, the Cupertino firm reportedly felt the football package “isn’t enough to pull that off.”
The report indicates Facebook, Amazon, Verizon, and Yahoo are in the running to grab the streaming rights to the Thursday evening American football package. Yahoo might be considered a favorite, if it can come up with a competitive bid, as it paid around $20 million to stream a 2015 regular season game between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars held at London’s Wembley Stadium.
It’s not known how much the league is looking to receive for streaming rights to the games. NBC and CBS each paid $225 million for the rights to televise five Thursday night game apiece, which they’ll also stream via their own streaming services. The NFL network will simulcast the games, with CBS and NFL Network televising the first half of the schedule, with NBC and NFL Network carrying the second half of the schedule.