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Could Amazon Prime Video Show an NFL Game on Black Friday?

Jeff Kotuby

Fresh off Amazon’s massive investment into the NFL, the streaming titan is looking for a “perk” to its NFL coverage that might come in the form of a Black Friday contest.

In an interview with Peter King on “The Peter King Podcast,” New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Amazon wanted something in return for the hefty sum it paid for NFL streaming rights this past February. While the NFL has a long-standing tradition of playing games on Thanksgiving, the games are not broadcast under the “Thursday Night Football” umbrella, meaning Amazon would be shut out of the proceedings. “Amazon (will) dedicate tremendous resources to make this work for them and for us,” Kraft said. “Who knows, maybe we’ll play a game on Black Friday, their biggest shopping day of the year?”

A special Black Friday edition of Thursday Night Football would no doubt bring eyes to the product but would present an issue for the NFL, which tries to avoid Friday night games thanks to the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961, which blacked out NFL games of teams within 75 miles of a high school football game. Last Christmas, though, the NFL aired a Friday night matchup between the Vikings and Saints, no doubt figuring that most high schools were off for the holiday break.

Earlier this month, the NFL and Amazon agreed to a blockbuster streaming rights deal that would make Amazon Prime Video the exclusive home of Thursday Night Football for the next 10 years. The deal, reportedly worth $1.2 billion, won’t start until 2023 but Amazon could still be in play for this game should they ask for it.

Streaming was a key factor for the NFL in negotiating this rights deal. The league clearly wanted to improve its live streaming foothold and, as deals with Amazon Prime Video, Peacock, Paramount+, and Tubi indicate, they seem to have found what they were looking for. Streaming numbers have steadily risen over the past 6 years, since the NFL first live-streamed a game, including great streaming numbers for Super Bowl LV.

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