The National Football League is unquestionably such a big thing that four big tech companies are competing for streaming rights.
A report from Variety says these companies are presently bargaining with the NFL for digital rights to Thursday Night Football.
It wasn't too long ago when the NFL signed agreements with the NBC and CBS to split the TV rights for Thursday games for the next two seasons. When it announced the TV deals, the league also added that it is currently in talks with possible "digital partners" for global over-the-top streaming rights to the games. Sad to say, it did not go into the detail as to what companies the NFL in active negotiations with.
Citing industry sources, the Variety specifically mentions Apple, Amazon, Google and Verizon to purportedly place in their offers for the digital rights. There exists a possibility, however, that the rights could be sold to more than one distributor.
Yahoo, in the past year, was given the chance to stream an NFL game across the globe, bringing in 15.2 million unique views. The two parties, as expected, were delighted with the results. However, the report says that considering the existing chaos within the company, it may not be capable of handling the digital rights.
Given that the games will be viewed on NBC and CBS, along with the NFL Network, it is predicted that games will likely be diluted within the United States. Still, this is a perfect opportunity for the four companies to boost their digital entertainment trustworthiness and to lure more customers.
Precisely how these companies would present the NFL streaming games to consumers continues to be unclear at the moment.
For Google, it's quite possible the company will include games in its YouTube Red service, which costs $10 a month. This could give reluctant customers a reason to subscribe to the service. Amazon has its Prime program, offering unlimited video streaming for $99 every year. Verizon is rumored to be securing the digital rights for its Go90, which is a free yet ad-supported video service. Meanwhile, Apple happens to be in the process of assembling its OTT service stocked with TV programming.
In any case, we have yet to hear comments from the four companies along with NFL as to how they are going to present the games and how much cash they are going to fork out of their pockets.