Latest NFL ‘Thursday Night Football’ plans include simulcast streaming

Google, Apple, Yahoo and Amazon are among the digital partners the NFL has sent RFPs to as it puts the rights to Thursday Night Football back on the auction block, according to a published report.

Sports Business Daily is reporting that the league is looking to craft a one-year deal with a league option for a second year, leaving room for a quick change as the marketplace evolves.

The NFL also has asked ESPN, NBC, CBS, Fox and Turner for RFPs, and anticipates that bidding for the season-long package of games will start around $300 million. The winning bidder will produce all 16 games, including the ones that only appear on the NFL Network.

The streaming deal would see games simulcast carrying the same ad loads and productions features as the broadcast games. A source told SBD, that the Thursday streams would be non-exclusive.

CBS currently pays about $300 million for Thursday Night Football and Yahoo in October paid the NFL an estimated $15 million for exclusive rights to stream a game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills from London. The stream drew an estimated 3 million concurrent users, according to reports.

NFL Exec VP/Media & NFL Network CEO Brian Rolapp recently said in an interview that the league intended to talk to both traditional media companies and digital companies about the Thursday Night Football deal.

“I think there will be a heavy digital component,” he said. “It is just a question of what the model will be and how we will do it.”

A deal is expected to be announced before the Super Bowl.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn