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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Amazon, NFL Want to Own ‘Black Friday’ Too

  • Tech giant to offer free access to league’s first ‘Black Friday’ game.
  • Amazon normally charges for Prime membership.
Thursday Night Football will add Black Friday game.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Amazon Prime Video and the NFL are taking the next steps to try to own the “Black Friday” holiday.

Amazon announced Tuesday it would offer free access to all viewers for its exclusive stream of the league’s first-ever “Black Friday” game on Nov. 24, 2023 (3 p.m. ET).

Typically, customers have to pay for Amazon Prime Video to stream “Thursday Night Football.” The service costs $14.99 a month or $139 a year.

But Amazon decided it was worth the loss in potential sign-up revenue to try to establish its new “Black Friday” game as an ongoing NFL tradition.

“We’re excited to expand our relationship with the NFL and build a new holiday tradition for our customers with the first Black Friday NFL game,” said Jay Marine, vice president of Prime Video and global head of Sports, in a statement. “We’re so very proud of our Thursday Night Football production and all the teams in front of and behind the camera. As families look to spend time together over the holiday weekend, we are excited to provide an opportunity for everyone to enjoy this new day of NFL action.”

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Amazon’s pregame show will be live and on-site at the stadium as part of its coverage.

Charissa Thompson will host, along with analysts Tony Gonzalez, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Richard Sherman, Andrew Whitworth, Taylor Rooks, and Michael Smith. 

The TNF crew of Al Michaels, Kirk Herbstreit, and Kaylee Hartung will call the game. The NFL will pick the two competing teams at a later date.

It looks like a smart business play by Jeff Bezos’ Amazon. 

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year. But Amazon’s message to holiday shoppers will be: Why get trampled by hordes at brick-and-mortar retailers like Walmart when you can shop online with us – while watching a free NFL game to boot? 

And, of course, it’s a loss-leader maneuver to get fans to sample Prime – and possibly sign up later.

Last year, Amazon became the NFL’s first all-digital partner via an $11 billion 11-year deal to stream TNF through 2033 exclusively.

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