The NFL and Amazon will test their combined clout, starting Thursday night, as they look to transform the viewer experience.
Coming off of a first week in which games averaged 18.5 million viewers – up 3% from last year and the highest figure since 2016 – the NFL is testing its might with its first streaming-only property.
Amazon has invested heavily to deliver a familiar product with some premium touches.
- The e-commerce giant is paying around $1 billion per season through 2033 to broadcast “Thursday Night Football.”
- It hired veteran broadcasters Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit in deals reportedly worth a respective $11 million and $10 million annually.
- Amazon augments its broadcasts with features such as its X-Ray technology, which provides data about players on the field. Apple has taken a similar tack with live probability data on its MLB broadcasts.
Meanwhile, the NFL is seeking to push further into streaming with its next deal for NFL Sunday Ticket, which has drawn interest from Amazon, Apple, and Google at a potential price tag of $2.5 billion per season.
Amazon on Offense
Amazon is leveraging its massive reach as a retail giant to drive viewers to Thursday’s game, as well as associated products.
A banner across the top of its home page advertises the game, and Amazon Prime Video displays a countdown clock until kickoff.
In addition to Amazon Prime and Amazon Prime Video memberships, the sites make it easy to purchase the company’s Fire TV, as well as gear for the first “TNF” teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers.