NFL Invites Apple to Bid on Streaming Thursday Night Football

Apple, Google, and Yahoo! have all been invited by the NFL to bid on non-exclusive streaming rights for the next two seasons of Thursday Night Football. Assuming Apple can strike a deal with the NFL, it's have a new way to draw consumers to its Apple TV.

NFL opens bidding for Thursday Night football streaming rightsNFL opens bidding for Thursday Night football streaming rights

The streaming versions of football games will be simulcast on traditional network television, complete with commercials. Networks invited to bid on broadcast rights include CBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC, and Turner Sports, according to SportsBusiness Daily.

Being invited to bid, however, doesn't necessarily mean Apple is interested in doing so. The company previously lost out to Amazon in a bid to land a Top Gear deal after the show's stars left the BBC, and had reportedly dropped its plans to launch a streaming TV service to compete with cable packages.

The NFL already offers its own Game Pass app for iOS where football fans can live stream games, although it doesn't include Thursday Night Football. Apple may be content with that, and not have any interest in bidding on a Thursday game deal.

Considering Yahoo! previously paid several million dollars to live stream a single football game, it's likely the company will throw its hat in the ring for the Thursday night games. Apple hasn't commented on whether or not it will bid for streaming rights.