Streaming had a breakout year in 2015, with many of the top services creating their own award-winning shows to keep viewers away from old school cable. But one thing that still remains elusive is live sports. (Heck, Netflix’s CEO recently entertained the notion of creating its own sports league.) According to SportsBusinessDaily, however, that could change next year.
A new report claims the NFL has approached Apple, Google, Amazon and Yahoo as platform partners for streaming Thursday night football games. Streaming the Thursday night game might not seem as major as Sunday night football, or even Monday night football, but baby steps. The NFL is the largest sports league in the U.S., and if one of these services becomes a streaming partner, imagine the possibilities.
Yahoo has already dabbled in NFL streaming, paying a whopping $15 million to exclusively stream a single game earlier this season. Bidding for Thursday night games is apparently going to begin at $300 million for the TV package. If all goes according to plan, who knows where the NFL might take future games? The league already has NFL Game Pass, which gives users a comprehensive experience with live game audio, full replays and more.
Traditional outlets, such as CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC are also expected to bid, though the digital options are much more intriguing. However, if Apple or Google do become partners, they would get the NFL Thursday night package on a non-exclusive basis, which means you can still catch the games on TV.