The NFL will auction off the broadcast rights to its slate of Thursday night football games in January, and the league’s executive vice president for media, Brian Rolapp, says it’s “theoretically possible” that a company such as Google or Apple could win exclusive rights to show the games. Big tech companies have expressed interest in pursuing such deals in the past, and this fall Yahoo licensed the rights to produce the first free, global live stream of an NFL game. A one-year deal for Thursday games might seem like a logical next step.
It isn’t—not this year. Aside from any wariness the NFL has about undermining relationships with traditional television distributors, the people who run the league aren’t convinced that the Internet can handle live streaming on the scale of pro football. Many Internet infrastructure companies agree, a reminder that technical challenges could be a major obstacle to a future where the Web eats TV.
Read more at Bloomberg.