Apple, Amazon, Google, Yahoo expected to bid on NFL Thursday Night Football

“The NFL has told TV networks that it is ready to accept bids for the ‘Thursday Night Football’ package that, once again, will be for just two years, according to several sources,” John Ourand reports for Sports Business Daily.

“The league last week sent formal RFPs to the usual TV partners and outlets — CBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC and Turner — that outlined the NFL’s plan to sell a one-year deal with a league option for a second year,” Ourand reports. “The league also sent RFPs to several digital companies, like Google, Yahoo, Apple and Amazon, to stream the entire Thursday night schedule on a non-exclusive basis, sources said.”

“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,” Ourand reports. “he league expects bidding to start in the low $300M for the television package, with a nominal escalator in year two, sources said. CBS currently is paying around $300M per season for the Thursday night package. 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…The NFL expects to receive the bids shortly after the New Year with a decision expected to come before the Super Bowl.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple, despite an “audacious bid,” lost out to Amazon on the blockbuster deal for the former “Top Gear” trio of Clarkson, Hammond and May. If they want TNF for Apple TV — certainly it’d be a selling point for the device — will Apple do what it takes to make it happen this time around?

Apple made ‘audacious bid’ for Top Gear trio of Clarkson, Hammond and May, but lost out to Bezos’ Amazon – September 1, 2015
Apple’s move into content creation could devastate Netflix and Amazon
Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Why would Apple want to make their own movies and TV shows? – September 1, 2015
Apple exploring entry into original entertainment production – August 31, 2015
Top Gear’s Clarkson, Hammond and May sign with Amazon Prime for new show to debut in 2016 – July 30, 2015


  1. I hope Apple doesn’t win the bid — because I don’t care to see a spate of stories slamming Apple every time a football player is injured, beats up his wife or child, or has a DUI or firearms charge. YKBIA.

  2. I am not sure if this is the “right” deal for Apple.

    But I would like to see Apple have something that is exclusive and only available on the Apple TV to help encourage people to buy one. The next “Game of Thrones” or the next “Walking Dead” or something big like that. Make it commercial free and free to ATV owners. Yes, I know, it’s easy to spend Apple’s money. But the more people who own an ATV, the better position Apple will be in for negotiating with content providers in the future.

  3. Pro sports of any kind is, to me, a total waste of time. I fail to see the attraction it has on so many people. It’s “we won” or “my team” as if they are a member, like belonging to a tribe or gang. The wearing of the uniform, or team colors, is this an unfulfilled desire to be part of something, or a social practice acted out, to be part of the crowd ?
    I hope Apple uses its money more wisely. I for one, will never be paying to watch any sports.

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