Football games are going to be streamed live by Amazon later this year. The online retailer agreed to a deal with the NFL for ten football games to be placed on Prime Video during the 2017 season.
Multiple technology companies were engaged in a bidding war for the NFL’s Thursday Night Football package that included only streaming rights for ten games. The same happened in 2016 when Twitter placed the selected offer for the package upon its first time being available. Twitter and Amazon were joined by Facebook and Google then, and all of those companies returned for the latest round of pitching themselves to the NFL. Only Amazon, however, was able to walk away with games to stream live in 2017.
Jeff Blackburn, Amazon’s SVP of Business Development & Entertainment, said the following:
“Our focus is on bringing customers the best premium video programming, when and how they want to watch it. Streaming Thursday Night Football on Prime Video is a great step for us toward that vision, and offers tremendous new value for Prime members around the world.”
Instead of the $10 million paid by Twitter during the 2016 season, Amazon is reportedly paying $50 million for its deal. Distribution will remain strong as Prime Video is offered in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
The terms of Amazon’s deal with the league are very straightforward. Amazon gets rights to the ten Thursday Night Football games that are televised by CBS and NBC throughout the season. The other games televised exclusively on NFL Network are off limits. The league likes NFL Network to carry some games on its own in order to increase viewership; therefore, Amazon will be sharing airtime with both CBS or NBC and NFL Network when it does have a game to stream. Sharing games might be frustrating, but Jeff Bezos & Co. have done a fantastic job driving shoppers to its video streaming service.
Anyone will a Prime membership will get the NFL on Prime Video for no additional fee, and we assume Amazon plans on utilizing viewership for recommendations on accounts. Maybe you’ll start seeing players’ jerseys recommended on Amazon after watching your favorite teams play. That’s a layer of this deal going beyond Prime Video’s expansion and the opportunity to sell in-game advertisements.
The Emmy-nominated docuseries All or Nothing, produced by NFL Films for Amazon, continues as well.
When Thursday Night Football reaches Prime Video this fall, it’ll be streaming live on a number of devices. Prime Video apps are on phones, tablets, televisions, set-top boxes, video game consoles, and more.
Perhaps the sole thing the NFL is losing in moving away from Twitter is integrated live-tweeting for viewers. While still possible with games on Prime Video, Twitter was able to put a live-stream and a timeline on one screen. Now viewers watching through Amazon’s platform will have to continue tweeting about games from separate screens. Still, the league is going to get a massive amount of money from a company that just wants to connect the NFL and its valuable content with Prime Video’s built-in platform already used by millions.