March 18, 2021
The National Football League had a busy day inking new carriage/streaming deals with media giants NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS. The NFL also announced a 10-year agreement with Amazon Prime Video to exclusively broadcast 15 “Thursday Night Football” games and one pre-season game per year in the U.S. The deal marks first-ever digital package for the NFL.
The Prime Video deal begins in 2023 and is the NFL’s first exclusive national broadcast package with a digital streaming service. The deal is increasing from 11 games to 15 games, with all games airing on Prime Video as part of a Prime membership.
“This unprecedented package gives tens of millions of new and existing Prime members exclusive access to live football on Prime Video,” Mike Hopkins, SVP of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said in a statement.
Prime Video will deliver new pre-game, half-time, and post-game shows, and it will continue to offer fan-favorite interactive features like X-Ray and Next Gen Stats, which provide a more customizable viewing experience.
In addition, Prime Video also secured rights to a weekly slate of original NFL programming and expanded rights to in-game highlights for all NFL matchups. Prime Video and the NFL will continue to collaborate on exclusive NFL content and enhanced fan viewing experiences around “Thursday Night Football,” with more information to come ahead of the first game in 2023.
The announcement is a continuation of an expanding relationship between the NFL and Amazon, which first distributed a simulcast of “Thursday Night Football” during the 2017 season.
In April 2020, Amazon and the NFL expanded the existing 11-game “Thursday Night Football” package on Prime Video to include one exclusive regular-season game per year, the first of which was played on Dec. 26 between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals.
The matchup drew an estimated 11.2 million total viewers and delivered the highest digital average-minute audience ever for an NFL regular-season game. Additionally, since 2017, the NFL has used Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its official cloud and machine learning provider for Next Gen Stats, which provides real-time location, speed, and acceleration data for every player during every play on every inch of the field.
In keeping with the NFL’s long-standing commitment to make its games available on free, over-the-air television, each game will also be televised in the participating teams’ home marketplaces.