Apple passes on bid for NFL streaming rights | Cult of Mac

Apple passes on bid for NFL streaming rights

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

As it turns out, Apple is not ready for some football.

The iPhone-maker was expected to be among a number of tech giants bidding for the streaming rights to 18 regular season football games this year, but it appears the company has decided to pass on the option to bid, figuring it wouldn’t be a big enough draw for the Apple TV platform. 

“Apple, which could use something dramatic to set its Apple TV box apart from the competition, has determined that this package isn’t enough to pull that off, and isn’t bidding,” reports Recode’s Peter Kafka, citing industry execs familiar the bidding process.

Other companies bidding for the streaming rights include Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo and Verizon, which already has the rights to NFL mobile streaming. Apple did not comment on the negotiations.

Whoever does win will have to part with some serious cash. Online streaming right for a single game last season cost Yahoo $20 million dollars. That could start the bidding around $360 million or more, unless the NFL gives out an unlikely bulk discount. NBC and CBS paid $225 million each to televise and stream 5 games on their networks and online.

The bidding process is expected to be wrapped up by March 20th when the NFL owner’s meeting gets underway in Florida.