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NFL Streaming Rights To Be Decided Soon

Jason Barrett

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Last month, the NFL sold its Thursday Night Football Television rights to CBS and NBC.

This month, they intend to sell digital rights to the same games, and a decision is expected soon on which company will acquire them. Sources says the league would like to have deals wrapped up by the NFL’s annual owners meeting on March 20.

Up for grabs are the streaming rights to 18 regular-season games. The company that lands the deal is positioning itself to stand out from the crowd of online brands who are vying for viewers and advertisers’ attention.

Here’s a list of potential buyers, and one group which isn’t entering the mix.

  • Facebook – Until now they’ve steered clear of paying for content, but the NFL has their attention. They are in the mix.
  • Amazon – They’ve been ramping up their video offerings and are interested. Sources say the company has broader ambitions in streaming sports and is looking to hire a high-level executive to steer that effort.
  • Verizon – They have mobile rights to NFL games and are looking at this package as well. The company is making a significant bet on streaming video, with moves that include the acquisition of AOL and the launch of Go90, a mobile streaming service that’s theoretically supposed to appeal to young viewers. They’re also rumored to be interested in purchasing Yahoo.
  • Yahoo – They paid $20 million to stream a regular season NFL game last fall and submitted preliminary paperwork in the bidding process. With rumors swirling of a potential sale and shakeup in management, it’s unclear if they are still pursuing the games.
  • Apple – They could use something dramatic to set their Apple TV box apart from the competition, but have determined that this isn’t the package to pull that off. They are not bidding.

It’s possible that another group or two could be lurking in the background and waiting to make a last minute pitch for the NFL’s digital package, but as of now, this is where things stand. The next two weeks we’ll learn a lot about where the NFL believes its product will be best showcased online.

Credit to Re/Code who originally published this article. Make sure to click the link to read the rest of their story.

 

Sports TV News

Pat McAfee Says Deals With Amazon/ESPN Fell Short Because His Show Comes First

“Energy, time, anything away from this show… we got a lot going on. This is my number one focus and it should remain as such…”

Jordan Bondurant

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Last week, it was announced that Pat McAfee would be hosting his own version of the popular Manning Cast only for college football games.

McAfee, co-host AJ Hawk, and the rest of his cast and crew from The Pat McAfee Show will host an alternate feed for six college football games this season.

McAfee was rumored to be in talks with Amazon about potentially hosting an alternate broadcast for its Thursday NFL games, and the former Colts punter had also reportedly talking with ESPN about potentially being featured on College GameDay.

McAfee said to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post that ultimately the Amazon and GameDay deals didn’t come to fruition because it just didn’t make sense.

“I’ve had great conversations with both companies, we just weren’t able to get to a point where ‘the ask’ and ‘the business’ were where it needed to be to get a deal done on both fronts,” McAfee said.

McAfee on his show on Monday elaborated a bit further, trying to put to bed that he was being courted for Thursday Night Football.

“I’m not 100 percent sure if that’s what we were talking about, by the way,” he said. “I was never really approached for anything for Thursday Night Football. That was never really anything.”

Pat read from the full response to Marchand’s questions, posted under the Post story which appeared on the paper’s site Monday. He reiterated that his daily show and the small business he built around his show, take precedent over anything else.

“Energy, time, anything away from this show, this operation, this crew; we got families being built, we got houses being bought, we got 12 employees, we got a lot going on,” he said. “So this is my number one focus and it should remain as such because I have a brain, and also I care a lot about this operation. I love it, actually.”

Still, McAfee made it clear that just because no deal was signed with ESPN and Amazon for 2022 means the ship has sailed permanently. He’s keeping his doors open.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Reportedly To Lose Big Ten Media Rights For the First Time in 40 Years

The idea is that FOX would have its marquee game kick off at noon, with CBS airing a game at 3:30. NBC reportedly will air games in primetime.

Jordan Bondurant

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BIG TEN, CBS, NBC, FOX SPORTS

After several months, it appears the Big Ten is nearing the finish line on a new media rights deal. And despite still reportedly being in negotiations with the conference, ESPN is looking set to lose out on media rights.

According to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, CBS and NBC are the frontrunners to join with FOX.

The idea is that FOX would have its marquee game kick off at noon, with CBS airing a game at 3:30. NBC reportedly will air games in primetime.

Ourand reported his sources told him ESPN’s deal to keep the Big Ten was not as strong as the one offered by the other two networks.

It would mark the first time in four decades that ESPN didn’t have some involvement in Big Ten sports. But Ourand indicates the worldwide leader could pivot into bundling Big 12 and Pac-12 rights as an alternative. Additionally the network would then pursue keeping its deals with NCAA for championship coverage as well as being the home for the College Football Playoff.

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Sports TV News

Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams

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In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.

There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.

The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:

#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale

Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.

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