Amazon Wins NFL Thursday Night Streaming Rights

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Tech giant beat out the likes of Twitter, YouTube and Google

Tech giant beat out the likes of Twitter, YouTube and Google. Image via Getty Images

The battle for live video programming content continues to disrupt the media and tech worlds. Last year, Twitter came out the surprising victor for the rights to stream the NFL on Thursday nights.

A year later, Amazon stakes claim as the next online provider for America’s football addiction.

In 2016 Twitter won the bidding war of 10 games for $10 million; now Amazon has dropped $50 million.

It’s more surprising this year to industry insiders, due to the success rate Twitter achieved last season. Live video has become a pillar of the social media platforms core offerings.

The company appears to be betting big on this content as part of their future. Now people again are questioning, what’s happening to Twitter?

Once news broke of the Amazon-NFL deal, Twitter quickly released this statement:

“Since last year, we have collaborated on over 40 live stream partnerships and we will continue to bring the best live content to our customers around the world.

In Q1 2017, we aired more than 800 hours of live stream content from over 400 events across sports, news, politics and entertainment. The NFL was a great partner to launch our strategy and we will continue to work with them to bring great content to our passionate sports fans.”

Amazon clearly is flexing its muscle buying the rights at five times the cost of last year for the same product.

The big unknowns are two fold:

1) How will fans not using Amazon Prime adapt? The online subscription is offered at $99 per year, or $10.99 per month.

2) Will viewers seamlessly go from watching games to purchasing merchandise on the e-commerce site? The retail giant accounts for more than half of every new dollar spent online in America, according to The Economist.

This is the second year of a two-year deal to simulcast the NFL Network’s broadcast of TNF. CBS and NBC each pay $225 million apiece per year to broadcast five Thursday night games a season.


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