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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Amazon’s NFL Success Could Lead To Pursuing More Live Sports

  • The confidence stems from brisk ad sales for the streaming of "Thursday Night Football."
  • Amazon says it will be aggressive in pursuing more live sports media rights deals.

Now in the second season of an 11-year, $11 billion deal with the NFL, Amazon is setting its sights on more live sports.

The tech giant’s confidence stems from brisk ad sales for its exclusive streaming of “Thursday Night Football.”

“We’re above our expectations at this point in the ad cycle,” Amazon global head of sports Jay Marine said recently on a “TNF” preview call. 

Marine also pointed to a noticeable shift of advertising funds toward live sports, particularly the NFL: “We’re acquiring more than our fair share of this increased ad revenue. We’re charting a successful course.”

Amazon is gearing up to stream the Miami Dolphins-New York Jets game live for free on Black Friday — when it could test interactive shopping and marketing. “We’ll have some interesting things for Black Friday where we think it will be additive for fans,” Marine said of the busiest shopping day of the year.

Rights for the additional game — which is not part of the ‘TNF’ package — reportedly cost Amazon between $50 million and $70 million.

Amazon’s 16-game regular-season schedule kicks off in Week 2, when the Philadelphia Eagles host the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 14. It is also streaming Thursday night’s preseason game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Eagles.

Is The NBA Next Up?

Amazon’s aspirations extend beyond football: With the emergence of different live sports packages, including the coveted rights to broadcast NBA games, the company is positioning itself as a major contender.

The league is seeking between $50 billion and $75 billion for its next multiyear package, sources told Front Office Sports. 

“We’ll be aggressive, but we’ll also be rational,” Marine said of any future sports deals. “And so we’ll just have to see how that evolves over time.”

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