April 14, 2022
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy lauded the e-commerce behemoth’s Prime Video platform in his annual shareholder letter covering the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2021. The executive called out the streamer’s ongoing forays into live sports, including the September launch of “Thursday Night Football,” the NFL’s first weekly, prime time, streaming-only broadcast. Amazon paid $11 billion for exclusive rights to the signature NFL event for the next 11 years.
“We will work relentlessly over the next several years to reinvent the NFL viewing experience for football fans,” Jassy wrote.
Indeed, Amazon upped its bid in order to secure the Thursday night rights a year early from Fox Sports. The streamer was originally set to assume the rights beginning in 2023.
“NFL games are the most watched live programming in the United States, and this unprecedented Thursday Night Football package gives tens of millions of new and existing Prime members exclusive access to must-watch live football on Prime Video,” Mike Hopkins, SVP of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said in a statement last year.
Jassy said Amazon’s approach to Thursday Night Football, which includes adding interactive features so streamers’ can personalize their experience, has resulted in other sports entities looking to work with Amazon.
“It’s also why so many large entertainment companies have become Prime Video Channels partners — enabling entertainment companies to leverage the [SVOD’s] technology and viewing experience,” Jassy wrote.
The executive said media companies such as Warner Bros. Discovery, Paramount Global, Starz, Corus Entertainment and Globo are driving “substantial incremental membership” and better customer experience by marketing their streaming services on Prime Video Channels.
“While there is so much progress in Prime Video from where we started [in 2006 as Amazon Unbox], we have more invention in front of us in the next 15 years than the last 15 — and our team is passionately committed to providing customers with the most expansive collection of compelling content anywhere in the world,” Jassy wrote.