Is the Internet ready for some football?
Yes! Next question: How much football? That was on Peter Kafka’s mind when he spoke to Brian Rolapp, the NFL’s media czar, on the latest episode of "Re/code Decode."
It’s a $600 million question, since the NFL is auctioning off the rights to its Thursday night games early next year, and tech players like Apple might want to get involved. So could the NFL sell its TV rights to an all-digital platform?
"We are in the reach business," Rolapp said. "One strength of the NFL is [that] our games have been widely available. Can the Internet reach as many fans as television?"
He said the Buffalo-Jacksonville game that streamed on Yahoo earlier this year — for which Yahoo paid $20 million — brought in about three million concurrent viewers.
"Could we scale to 20-30 million?" he asked. "I’m not sure, but I’m not ruling it out."
Rolapp also talked with Kafka about what makes live sports different from other forms of television, and how traditional and digital distribution are becoming less mutually exclusive.
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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.