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Volume 25 No. 4
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Twitter, Amazon Among Final Four "TNF" Streaming Rights Bidders

Twitter, Amazon, YouTube and Verizon are the remaining bidders in the "running to win digital streaming rights for the NFL’s Thursday Night Football package," according to sources cited by Kurt Wagner of RECODE. Twitter paid $10M for digital streaming rights from the NFL in '16, and Amazon won them in '17 for $50M, with the latest renewal "going for much more." Verizon is an existing NFL partner, and "already owns some mobile streaming rights for Thursday." YouTube is the "only company without a prior streaming relationship with the league." It is "unclear what kind of price the NFL is looking for" in '18. However, sources said that the league is "likely to strike a multiyear deal." One source said that Amazon is "considering dropping its bid because of concerns over new terms in the proposed contract that could limit its viewership." It is also "unclear how long a deal would be" (RECODE.net, 2/15). BLOOMBERG NEWS' Soshnick, Shaw & Soper cite sources as saying that Amazon, Twitter and YouTube are "bidding as much as hundreds of millions of dollars for rights that will run for as long as five years." The NFL is "getting help in the talks" from 21st Century Fox, which "acquired the TV rights to the games" through '22 (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 2/15).