Amazon Prime Video Closing In on Exclusive Rights to Thursday Night Football
Amazon Prime Video is looking to shake up the NFL rights game with a huge splash.
According to a report by Sports Business Journal, Thursday Night Football will move from FOX to be exclusively streamed on Amazon Prime Video.
There’s no word as to what Amazon will pay for these exclusive streaming rights, but it is believed that Fox was paying nearly $660 million a year for TNF — which could see a new deal reach nearly a billion. There’s also been no official word from either Amazon or the NFL in regards to this report but it wouldn’t be a shocker to see Amazon reclaim Thursday Night Football and make its Prime Video platform its exclusive home.
Amazon will still need to find a production partner and a select number of games would still air on NFL Network, along with on local affiliates in the home markets of the competing teams.
Last season, Amazon Prime Video exclusively streamed their first NFL game but their efforts look to be ramped up for the 2021 campaign. The matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals that was only streamed on Amazon Prime Video garnered an estimated 4.8 million average minute audience on the streaming platform, a strong number. This one game easily surpassed the highest non-Super Bowl telecast.
Amazon replaced Twitter in 2017 to stream Thursday Night Football. However, until now, they have shared the rights with Fox and NFL Network. They have since added their own commentators (Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer) and the ability to watch for free on Twitch.
The move is a win for both sides, as the NFL wants to better embrace streaming and Amazon wanted into the NFL rights game. The Streamable recently discussed speculation surrounding NFL Sunday Ticket and its potential move to ESPN+, which would certainly show the NFL doubling down on streaming.
Super Bowl streaming numbers have steadily risen over the past decade and regular season numbers seem to reflect this trend as well. Super Bowl LV between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs set new streaming records, signifying a shift in the way NFL viewers consume their beloved product.