The NFL wants to sell streaming rights for Thursday Night Football, and Apple, Google, and Amazon are apparently among the expected bidders. Variety reports that the NFL believes all three of those tech giants will soon try to acquire Thursday Night Football's streaming rights, though it sounds like none have done so just yet. Still, it follows that Apple and Google would be interested — Reuters previously reported that both were in discussions for the three NFL games being played in London next season, so it makes sense that they'd want what is by far a more attractive package of games. Amazon's name is newly in the mix, likely as it looks for new perks to add to Prime.
Thursday Night Football games will be broadcast by NBC and CBS for the next two years, and both have rights to stream them to paying cable subscribers. That means the streaming rights package for Thursday Night Football isn't quite as special as it might sound, but it's still a big deal. The NFL only started offering streaming deals last year, streaming its first with Yahoo in October. So Thursday Night Football will be among the first set of games offered online for people without a cable subscription — and NFL games would make a pretty great way to get attention to a young streaming service, like Amazon Prime or YouTube Red, or a new one, like the TV service Apple is supposedly interested in launching. Variety says that the rights could ultimately be split between multiple companies; additional games could also be thrown in.