Rumor: Apple interested in digital rights for NFL ‘Thursday Night Football’ games

The National Football League is shopping digital rights for “Thursday Night Football” games — and Apple, Amazon, Google, and Verizon’s Go90 are among those interested, reports Variety,  quoting unnamed “industry sources.”

The NFL announced two-year TV broadcast deals with CBS and NBC on Monday to divvy up the Thursday matches, with each network securing rights to five. Now the league is “in active discussions with prospective digital partners” for global over-the-top streaming rights to the same games. The NFL didn’t say what companies those were, but “multiple sources” tell Variety that Apple, Amazon, Google, and Verizon are among the players expected to put in bids for the marquee property.

Last month Reuters, quoting two (unnamed) “sources familiar with the matter,” said the NFL is planning to live-stream all three games scheduled to be played in London next season, and Apple and Alphabet (a Google subsidiary)  are among the technology companies in talks to buy the rights to conduct the streams.