Tech Giants Weigh Streaming Bids For 'Thursday Night Football'

Technology companies Twitter, Amazon and YouTube are expected to bid for the rights to stream NFL “Thursday Night Football” games, as the league looks to add a twist to the streaming deals that have come before.

This past season Amazon streamed the game to its prime members, with the games also available on CBS and NBC properties, as well as NFL Network. The season before that, Twitter streamed the games for free on its service, with the games also airing on linear TV.

The twist now is that Fox has inked a multi-year deal for the Thursday night package of games, and the league is looking for a streaming partner willing to make a similar commitment, according to Bloomberg.

In addition, the league wants the tech partner to add an interactive element that will differentiate it from being just a simulcast of the game on TV. The hope is to hook younger viewers who consume content on Snapchat and other social platforms, but may not be watching as much football.



A more interactive service could also offer more options for advertisers. In addition to standard commercial breaks, ad overlays or interactive ads could be part of the mix as well for the games.

Twitter and Amazon have already proven they can stream the games, and both have experience layering other content on top of live video, Amazon through its Twitch subsidiary and Twitter through its assorted live video streams. YouTube has not streamed NFL games before, but as the largest video site on the internet, it would not be an issue for the site. Indeed, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said earlier this week at the Code Media conference that she was interested in securing rights to the games.

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