NFL player hands out Apple Watches to his teammates

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Get your Apple Watch ready for the new iPhone.
A gift worth taking a tackle for.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Quarterbacks and running backs will often reward their offensive linemen with gifts, but veteran NFL Baltimore Ravens punter Sam Koch recently gave out a particularly welcome high-tech pressie to his teammates — when he handed out Apple Watches.

Catch spoiler-free Star Wars reviews and this week’s best Apple stories on The CultCast

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Who're you callin'
Who're you callin' "scruffy-lookin'?"
Photo: LucasFilm

This week: the force is looking very strong with the new Star Wars movie; live football may be coming to the Apple TV; the tvOS app store hits a major milestone; why you shouldn’t expect 3D touch in the next iPad Air; and with 2016 on the horizon, we’ll review our favorite games, gadgets, and books of 2015. Hit play, you must!

Our thanks to FreshBooks for supporting this episode, the easy-to-use invoicing software designed to help small business owners get organized, save time invoicing and get paid faster. Get started with a free trial at Freshbooks.com/cultcast.

Apple expected to bid on Thursday Night Football streaming deal

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Would Thursday Night Football be a touchdown for Apple TV?
Would Thursday Night Football be a touchdown for Apple TV?
Photo: NFL Network

The NFL is looking for a new partner to host Thursday Night Football, and it appears that Apple may be gunning to make an interception from Yahoo and Google.

Traditional networks like CBS, ESPN, Fox, and NBC were all informed by the NFL that it is ready to accept bid for broadcasting rights to its Thursday Night Football package, but the league also notified Apple that it can bid for a non-exclusive streaming deal for Apple TV and iOS users.

TuneIn Premium now streams live NFL games FTW

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Apple TV won't be streaming football this year.
Apple TV won't be streaming football this year.
Photo: NFL

CBS Sports will stream Super Bowl 50 to Apple TV

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You'll now be able to stream the big game to your iPad.
You'll now be able to stream the big game to your iPad.
Photo: CBS Sports

The NFL’s 2015 season is set to kick off next week and to provide more coverage than ever of this year’s gridiron action, CBS announced that it will stream two regular season games, four playoff games and the Super Bowl 50 to Apple TV for free

Jimmy Iovine: NFL Beats ban makes us look like superheroes

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Jimmy Iovine, Tim Cook, Andre Young, and Eddie Cue. Photo: Apple
Jimmy Iovine, Tim Cook, Andre Young and Eddy Cue. Photo: Apple

Apple’s new headphone company received an official ban from the NFL this season, prohibiting the Beats cans from being worn at games or official press conferences, and Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine couldn’t feel more lucky.

Iovine was the keynote speaker today at the University of Southern California’s Global Conversation, and according to Business Insider, he told the audience that the NFL’s decision to ban Beats at the behest of Bose was an inept move that’s turned Beats into a superhero.

Microsoft’s plan to takeover NFL sidelines fumbles on opening night

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Microsoft’s plan to takeover the NFL with its Surface tablets hit a few snags during the debut of its new Sideline Viewing System at last night’s Hall of Fame game between the Giants and Bills.

As part of the new Sideline Viewing System for the NFL, Microsoft is flooding coaching staffs with special Surface Pro 2 units that are designed to replace binders of printed photos, but according to Buffalo Bills head couch Doug Marrone, his team didn’t get access to the new feature.

Want NFL on your iPad? DirecTV loosens grip on cordcutters

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nflsundayticket

The squads of the NFC and AFC are gearing up for training camp in just a few weeks, and the NFL is ready to make a killing by feeding your leather and spandex addiction with an NFL Sunday Ticket package that stream every game to your iPad, even if you don’t have a satellite subscription.

In a huge victory for cord-cutters, DirecTV is finally ready to loosen restriction to make it easier for non-subscribers to pay for the NFL Sunday Ticket, but it’s not going to be cheap.

Redesigned NFL Mobile App Adds Access To Watch Live Games

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nflmobile

Football season is only a month away, so the NFL has completely rebuilt its NFL Mobile app for iOS and Android with a redesigned look that gives football fans quick access to breaking news, scores, and video highlights.

As part of the update, the NFL has folded in functionality from its Verizon-made app, which gives Verizon subscribers the ability to pay for premium features such as live streaming NFL games on Thursday, Sunday, and Monday nights and NFL RedZone on Sundays.

Microsoft Unveils New Xbox One Console

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xboxonepicture

This morning Microsoft unveiled  its newest console, the Xbox One. Unlike previous Xbox models though, Xbox One isn’t just about games, it’s about becoming the one system your living room needs, and it probably means trouble for the Apple TV.

Not only can Microsoft’s latest box play video games with the best of them, but Microsoft has added features to make it the only box your TV really needs by recognizing who you are, what you movies and shows you like, and allowing you to control it all with just your voice.